TREATMENT Advocacy and Literacy Campaign national director Felix Mwanza has described the late HIV and AIDS activist, prostate cancer campaigner and educator Dr Mannasseh Phiri as a selfless and dedicated to the global and national AIDS cause. Dr Phiri, 68 died in the early hours of Monday in Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital. His brother Chris confirmed yesterday that Dr Phiri died at 03:40.
He said Dr Phiri came back from South Africa last Wednesday evening where he had been admitted. Chris said Dr Phiri’s wish was that he be cremated on the day of his death. He said Dr Phiri was scheduled to be cremated yesterday at 16:00 hours at a ceremony attended by a few family members. Chris said a memorial service would be held at the farm on Wednesday. He said his ashes would be scattered around the farm.
In 2016, Dr Phiri announced that he had been fighting prostate cancer since 2014 and the cancer was in remission. The same year, Dr Phiri founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Zambia (PCFZ) and joined hands with veteran broadcaster Chanda Chimba III to raise awareness about the cancer. And Mwanza said he learnt a lot from Dr Phiri.
“A very dark cloud hovering on Zambia. A very selfless and dedicated individual to the global and national AIDS cause. An astute individual with very convincing arguments always in favour for those living with HIV and the minority. I learnt quite a lot from him. We shall miss him a lot. My condolences to the wife Ba Mwaba and his family,” said Mwanza.
Media and child rights activist Henry Kabwe said it pained him to learn of the “deaths of icons like Dr Phiri passing without national mourning or any semblance of it.”
“Then, some political figures who were more of liabilities than contributors getting the honours! The law must be revisited. Rest in peace Dr Phiri. You did to humanity what Jesus commanded us to do – serve with love. Yours was an infectious appearance on television. As a naturally gifted broadcaster, you visited many homes and those memories linger. Your profession, medicine, could probably have been picked by you because of the love of God in you for others but in all definitions, appearances and shapes, you were a broadcaster! Rest in peace,” said Kabwe who is Media Network on Child Rights and Development executive director.
Dr Phiri is survived by a wife and two children.