Tributes pour in for Kaunda, departed Zambian leader
By Tasie Theodore
Tributes are pouring in from everywhere for departed Zambian leader and first post-Independence President of the Southern African nation, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
Kaunda, 97, died of pneumonia on Thursday at the Maina Soko Military Hospital, Lusaka where he had been taking treatment away from his retirement home.
Condoling with the family via a Facebook post, incumbent President, Edgar Lungu, who is in the middle of a tumultuous elections pitch ahead of the August 12 presidential elections, said:
“On behalf of the entire nation and on my own behalf, I pray that the entire Kaunda family is comforted as we mourn our first president and true African icon.”
Undoubtedly, a father of modern Zambia, a 21 day national mourning period has already been declared in his honour by President Lungu.
Kaunda led the nation to independence and subsequently served as president for 27 years until he was to be defeated in an epic by the labour leader, Frederick Chiluba. His conceding defeat at a time when strongmen rulers held sway all over the continent was lauded as a sign of the way to go.
He was however to be confronted with the rough and tumble of the political stage as his attempt to run again was halted on the strange reason that he was not a Zambian! He was thereafter to be implicated in a military coup attempt and charged with treason. He thereafter announced his disengagement from the world of politics and moved on fully into retirement.
He was the author of the notable text, Zambia shall be free.
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda