Kabila offers plane to return Papa Wemba body


Congo President Joseph Kabila has offered a plane to fly back from Cote d’Ivoire to Kinshasa on Thursday the body of Papa Wemba.

Wemba collapsed and died at a concert in Abidjan early in the week.

The president says the generous gesture is in recognition of the singer’s contribution to the development of Congolese music and the entertainment industry.

The aircraft will carry more than 50 people, including Papa Wemba’s widow, Mama Marie-Luzolo Amazone, some family members, and his musicians, who were at the festival in Cote d’Ivoire with him.

Musician Maika Munan told Kenya’s Daily Nation that an entourage of top Congolese artistes led by veteran band leader Kiamuangana Mateta Verkys, would travel on the plane to go and collect their compatriot’s body.

Papa Wemba’s widow is already in Abidjan, having arrived on Monday morning, accompanied by government officials.

The body leaves Abdijan for Kinshasa on Thursday afternoon.

There is still no indication as to whether a post-mortem would be performed to ascertain the cause of the sudden death on the stage at the weekend.

Arrangements for public viewing of Wemba’s body in Kinshasa and funeral service will be announced by Friday.

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