President Edgar Lungu has honoured 18 Zambians for distinguished and exemplary service to the country at a colourful investiture ceremony held at State House to commemoration Zambia's 54th Independence anniversary.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa graced the commemorations of Zambia's 54th independence anniversary held under the theme "Celebrating a Shared Future of Unity, Development and Prosperity.
First Republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Vice President Inonge Wina , Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini and Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima, Patriotic Front(PF) Secretary General Davies Mwila, Cabinet Ministers, and Members of the Diplomatic Corp and a cross section of Zambians attended the independence celebrations.
ZANIS reports that President Lungu bestowed the five different classes of honour and recognition to the 18 Zambians drawn from various fields at a colourful investiture ceremony at State House characterized by entertainment, singing and performances by various groups.
The Zambian Head of State bestowed the Order of the eagle of Zambia third division to former Chief Justice Annel Silungwe for his immense contributions to the global legal fraternity.
Mr. Silungwe is Zambia's first Chief Justice and has been hailed as a global legal expert for his contributions to the development of legal sectors in among others Zambia, Namibia and Mauritius where he served in various legal capacities.
President Lungu also bestowed the Order of distinguished service to Christopher Kajimbala for initiating entrepreneurship training in correctional service centers to empower inmates.
The President honoured Francis Yamba who was the first dean at the school of mines for his contribution to the development of the renewable energy sector and pioneering rural electrification in Zambia.
Also honoured under this category is Catholic Priest Professor Michael Kelly for his contributions to the promotion of education, social justice and curbing of HIV/AIDS and Dickson Mwansa for promoting the establishment of Private University Education and Distance Learning mode through the establishment of the Zambia Open University where he served the institution as Vice Chancellor.
President Lungu conferred the Insignia of Honour on Chimozi Jere who is Chief Madzimawe for his pioneering campaign for the eradication of Child marriages in Zambia as well as fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV) and promoting community service.
Under this category, the President also recognized the works of Frackson Musukwa who despite being deaf and dumb established a school for children with disabilities to provide them with education and empowerment.
The President also recognized Celestina Dailey for her role in pioneering the establishment of a programme to train volunteer teachers to decongest classrooms and increase access to education in Mazabuka District.
The President's Insignia of Mercy was awarded to Augustine Mwila for showing compassion when he came to the aid and rescue of 11 police officers who were involved in a road traffic accident along the Choma-Namwala Road in Southern Province and secured the police firearms and other properties scattered at the accident scene.
President Lungu also bestowed the Insignia of Meritorious Achievement to nine medical staff who successfully operated and separated the co-joined twins named Mapalo and Bupe at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital (UTH).
Aside recipients receiving honours and awards, State House grounds was characterized by traditional, gospel and secular music and dances from a cluster of bands and artistes as invited guests danced to the Uhuru fever of 54 years of independence while President Lungu gloriously responded to Gospel artiste Malembe Malembe's Aka Donki song.