Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda has passed on, this website can confirm.
This comes barely a week after the 97-year-old was admitted at Maina Soko Medical Centre in Lusaka.
Rodrick Ngolo, his administrative assistant, confirmed his admission at the Military hospital in a statement that rallied up the Zambians to pray for their beloved K.K’s health.
Who was Kenneth Kaunda?
Born on 28th April in 1924, the youngest child in a family of eight children in Chinsali, Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia, present-day Zambia, Kenneth is an alumnus of the famous Rusangi University.
As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; Kaunda went on to become a teacher, a feat both his parents had achieved.
The son of the first African woman to teach in colonial Zambia resigned from his expeditions as a teacher in Lubwa to take on Organising Secretary of the Northern Rhodesia African National Congress.
He rose through the ranks in the party and was appointed Secretary-General in 1953 before being arrested alongside his president, Harry Nkumbula, three years later.
The duo served a two-month sentence for distributing subversive literature disagreement in ideologies would soon see them part ways as Kaunda formed his Zambia Africa National Congress (ZANC).
He would later join the United National Independence Party(UNIP) and lead his country to self-rule in1964. Within nine years from independence, Kaunda would sign the infamous Choma Declaration banning all political parties from UNIP. He saw this as the solution to the post-independence violence attributed to political and tribal differences.
In 1991, Kaunda would later bite his tongue and reinstate multiparty politics following international pressure. The oil crisis and slump in the economy played in Frederick Chiluba’s hands as he ousted him in the polls. The Movement for MultiDemocracy’s 75% of the vote, so Kaunda becomes the second African leader to relinquish power peacefully in November 1991 after Benin’s Mathieu Kérékou eight months earlier.
Life after Politics.
Deportation attempts by Chiluba because Kaunda was Malawian were futile. Still, the last nail in the coffin of his political career came when he was accused of playing a role in the unsuccessful coup in 1997.
He resigned from politics while under house arrest that year before a court ruling at the Ndola High Court declared him stateless in 1999.
After successfully petitioning this ruling, he regained his citizenship and has since been involved in charity activities till his last days.
Kaunda played a big role in the fight against the HIV/AIDs in Zambia at the stroke of the 21st century.
May His Soul Be Granted Eternal Rest.