Yesterday marked 26 years since the Gabon air disaster which killed an entire Chipolopolo national team, FAZ executive members and the crew. African football legend Kalusha ‘King Kalu’ Bwalya (who played with the players that died in the plane clash )and The Football Association of Zambia yesterday took time to remember the fallen heroes.
On the evening of 27 April 1993, a DHC-5 Buffalo transport aircraft of the Zambian Air Force crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off from Libreville, Gabon. The flight was carrying most of the Zambian national football team to a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Senegal in Dakar.
The 1988 African footballer of the year took to his social media remembering the brothers he lost in the plane clash saying their memory will always be with him.
“26 years ago I lost my team mates, brothers and family. Their memory will never die in my heart. They continue to inspire many Zambian & African football generations. #RIP #KK11 #Chipolopolo #Zambia Galant #heroes #gonebutnotforgotten #gonetoosoon,” King Kalu posted on his Social Media platforms.
The Football Association of Zambia led by president Andrew Kamanga had a small gathering at the Heroes acre to honour the fallen heroes with family members and the football family present at the event. Kamanga challenged the modern day players to honour the memory of the fallen heroes by qualifying to the FIFA World Cup.
The FAZ boss said the fallen heroes demonstrated the highest sense of sacrifice by having died whilst on duty for the country.
“They remain a reference point for modern day footballers as they paid the ultimate price for their country,” he said.
“In a small way, the journey they began of getting Zambia the Africa Cup prize was rewarded with victory in 2012. Succeeding generations now have a responsibility to get Zambia to the World Cup to fully honour these gallant men lying here,” He added.
The event was a FAZ organised one as it falls outside the government designated five year event.
Full List of Fallen Heroes
Efford Chabala (Mufulira Wanderers), Richard Mwanza (Kabwe Warriors)
John Soko, Eston Mulenga (both Nkana), Whiteson Changwe (Kabwe Warriors), Robert Watiyakeni (Dynamos FC-RSA), Winter Mumba (Power Dynamos), Samuel Chomba (Dynamos-RSA)
Derby Makinka (El Tiffaq-Saudi Arabia), Moses Chikwalakwala, Numba Mwila (both Nkana), Wisdom Chansa (Dynamos FC-SA), Godfrey Kangwa (Olympique Casablanca-Morocco)
Kelvin ‘Malaza’ Mutale (El-Tiffaq-Saudi Arabia), Timothy Mwitwa (Nkana), Moses Masuwa (Kabwe Warriors), Kenan Simambe (Nkana), Patrick ‘Bomber’ Banda (Profund Warriors)
Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (coach)
Alex Chola (assistant coach)
Wilson Mtonga (doctor)
Michael Mwape (FAZ Chairman)
Nelson Zimba (public servant)
Joseph Bwalya Salim (journalist)
Colonel Fenton Mhone (pilot)
Lt Colonel Victor Mubanga (pilot)
Lt Colonel James Sachika (pilot)
Warrant Officer Edward Nambote (fitter)
Corporal Tomson Sakala (steward)