Kenneth Kaunda (1924 — 2021)

Kenneth Kaunda, who led Zambia to independence and became its first president, has joined his ancestors. He was 97.

His death occurred in a public hospital in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, this Thursday, June 17.

A hero of African liberation struggle, Kaunda was president from 1964 to 1991. He lost the presidential election to labour leader Frederick Chiluba in 1991. Chiluba has since died.

Kaunda was also the author of Zambia Shall Be Free, in which he narrates the story of their independence struggle in the southern Africa especially.

He goes to the ancestors as “the last of the titans”. Most leaders of African liberation struggles died in old age: Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Houphet Boigny of Ivory Coast and others.

The Zambian authorities have declared 21 days of mourning for the liberation hero. “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,” President Edgar Lungu said.

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