National Day of Mourning for Zambian LDS Minister
By Elder Thomas Humpherys
“Dr Chikusu will be remembered for his good works during his lifetime to the people of Zambia, not as a politician, but as a civil servant where he worked for so many years.”
Zambian President Michael Sata declared December 7, 2013, a national day of mourning in honour of Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Patrick Chikusu, 62, who died on the December 2. Dr. Chikusu was also serving as a Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMP) Member of Parliament (MP).
The State funeral, under the direction of the Zambia Army Chaplaincy, was held at Lusaka’s Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Over 2,000 guests participated in those ceremonies followed by interment at the Leopards Hill Memorial Park in Lusaka. Zambian Vice President, Dr. Guy Scott, described the late Dr Chikusu as a dedicated public officer who contributed greatly to the development of the nation stating: “Dr Chikusu will be remembered for his good works during his lifetime to the people of Zambia, not as a politician, but as a civil servant where he worked for so many years.”
Other key speakers included Lusaka District President Harrison Lumbama and other prominent church leaders; President of the MMD, Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba; former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Chifumu Banda; and Health Minister, Joseph Kasonde. All expressed their admiration for the selfless dedication of Dr. Chikusu to his fellow men, his Christ-like service to all.
Patrick Chikusu was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1996 while working in London, England. He was sealed to his wife Edah in 1997 in the Johannesburg Temple. In addition to his renowned contributions to science, medicine, and politics, he served the Church faithfully in many callings,including branch president and most recently a temple preparation instructor at the Lusaka Branch. He is survived by his wife and three children who supported their father's political life. They followed his example and met his high expectations:two of them became medical doctors and one a medical nurse.A choir of Lusaka District members provided inspirational music before, during, and after the services.
The people of Zambia will dearly miss the service of the Honorable Dr Chikusu. Africa lost two great men in the same week, Nelson Mandela and Patrick Chikusu.