Count Down to Gabon Memorial: 26 Years On

On Sunday, April 28. 2019, Zambia will mark the 26th anniversary of the Gabon Disaster that perished an entire team and technical staff.

Eighteen players, technical staff, a FAZ chairman, crew members and a journalist died off the coast of Gabon in Libreville on their way to fulfilling USA 1994 World fixture against Senegal in Dakar.

Widely acknowledged as the finest talents Zambia has ever produced and were poised for a debut World Cup appearance, the team’s departure remains one of the most painful memories in the history of the Zambian game.

Family members, fans, officials and ordinary citizens will make the annual pilgrimage to the Heroes Acre on Sunday to pay homage to the celebrated heroes.

Government has directed that an official ceremony will held every five years with last year’s event marking the first of the five year cycle.

However, as per tradition, there will be a remembrance ceremony at Heroes Acre.

How do you remember the fallen heroes?

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)


Coaching staff

Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (coach)

Alex Chola (assistant coach)

Wilson Mtonga (doctor)

Wilson Sakala


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)


(Source: FAZ Media)


  1. m.mwambilwa

    We shall not forget the cream of Zambian soccer,the gallant crew and our sports journalist who perished in that disaster,26 years on,looks like yesterday ,rest in peace our heroes.

  2. Gessik

    Gallant men indeed they were, committed like anything to duty.we shall always remember them .Rest in peace guys.

  3. dockgsth£r


  4. SMZ

    Maweeee,sitizaibala msanga.

  5. Aaron

    may God be with you all always



  7. Habakkuk

    May almighty God be with them

  8. KK

    May their souls rest in eternal peace

  9. Mr chola m

    Almighty God comfort the Departed souls RIP

  10. Herv Rena

    Very sad memories, though up to now no clear report has been made available to the deceased families.Govt should consider honoring them posthumously and compensate the families! Its shameful that such a tragic incident whose individuals died on duty cannot be properly documented.

  11. miles mubanga

    Lt Colonel Victor Mubanga (pilot) my father may your soul rest in peace

    • Roy Penney

      Gone but never forgotten


      Family and friends, brother’s we really missed you entire nation until we meet again on the other side. Tears may dry up but memories will remain the same. RIP

  12. manfield maurice

    rest in peace gentlemen..

  13. fosale

    our heroes you will always be remembered

  14. Boyd

    This is a painful memories may our might God be with them

  15. Samson Soko

    I salute for them

  16. Moira

    Seems like yesterday! Just remembered the all thing last week! Still heart breaking! John Soko – with a warm personality and down to earth! Continue Resting In Peace!

  17. Metrix zimba

    Its seems like yesterday will misses them alot

  18. mubiana

    rest in peace guyz

  19. Lovemore mpofu

    My team I really miss the guys mwandi

  20. Renard Mutuwa

    We will still miss and love you

    Rest in peace ❤❤❤

  21. Mr. BJ

    The KK 11 fondly remembered by many soccer loving Zambians. Kelvin Mutale was a Darling of many pipo. Loosing that team meant a lot in football circles. Zambia would have rubbled shoulders with cream of world players. Late President Chiluba gave a moving and touching prayer, which made almost every one at funeral to weap un controllably. MTSRIP.

  22. Enock Kipaila

    May their soul rest in peace

  23. Anthony chitefu

    M T S R I P tatwakalabemo.


    May their soui rest internal life Jesus our Personal Saviour nay our lord give as Future to make our heroes remembered and their families happy let the Government make it a Public Holiday we are all feel znegrected

  25. Kelvin mutale


  26. Onasmas

    A team that was supposed to conquer the world

  27. Principledman

    That was the time i enjoyed footble,from then on left me in pain till 2012 when mwenee kennedy reminded me Efford chavala,but still my pains will be uncontrollable MTSRIEP

  28. Denny Nkhata

    Not only the heroes but the legends of Zambian football. But I see them bounce back in the name of the under 23 National team and bring back the glory of 1988 Seoul Olympics. RIP guys

  29. Isaac malisawa

    Rest in peace God’s hands

  30. Charles Chilembo

    Rest in peace guys God we shall upon u until the day of judgement

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