President Edgar Lungu of Zambia has mourned the death of a giant pond fish, fondly known as Mafishi.
The fish, which lived in a pond at one of the country’s biggest public universities, the Copperbelt University (CBU), was also mourned by Zambia’s opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema.
Mafishi began trending on Twitter across Zambia following the announcement of the fish’s death on Monday night.
The fish lived in the university’s pond and while some students would pay homage to it before exams for good luck, other students considered it as a stress reliever.
President Lungu quoting Mahatma Gandhi while mourning the fish, said: “… the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi. Mafishi was part of the #CBU community for a long time.”
“I’m glad you received a befitting send-off. We’ll all miss you,” he added.
Mr Hichilema wrote: “We stand with the CBU student community, past and present, over the death of their iconic pet Mafishi.”
The fish was part of the university’s aquaculture initiative and is believed to have been in the pond for not less than seven years.
Zambia’s Higher Education Minister Brian Mushimba also mourned the fish:
RIP…..glad u had a special send off by the CBU student community. pic.twitter.com/Dn9gMnfogz
— Dr. Brian C. Mushimba (@HonMushimba) September 7, 2020
University students lit candles and marched around the premises on Monday night to mourn Mafishi.