Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first Republican President, has died, according to his son Kambarange Kaunda.
“…I’m sorry to inform you that we have lost “Mzee.”
Let us pray for him…” Kambarange stated this.
Dr. Kaunda was 97 years old when he died. Earlier this week, he was taken to the Maina Soko Military Hospital.
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda was the first President of Zambia, serving from 1964 until 1991. He was in the vanguard of the battle for independence from British control, and he was one of the forefathers of a new Africa when countries rejected colonialism in favour of sovereign statehood. Dissatisfied with the leadership of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress under Harry Nkumbula, he formed the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and becoming the first President of Independent Zambia at the age of 40.
Music had been a life-long passion for Kenneth Kaunda from the time he was a teenager in Chinsali when he discovered the guitar.On his lonely assignments to drum up support for independence, the lanky young man spotting a Zonk-hair cut would ride long distances with a guitar slung across his shoulder. He would hold meetings and sing to his audience his own compositions.When he ascended to power, it was a common feature to see him strum his guitar singing a patriotic song or a love to song dedicated to his late wife Betty. A song Zambians will fondly remember Dr.Kaunda by is “Tiyende Pamodzi nimu ntima umo” which is a song of unity.
In a statement UPND President Hakainde Hichilema said we have learned with deep sorrow, of the death of Zambia’s first President and our founding father, Dr Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda. He passed away peacefully in Lusaka today, after a short illness. We express our deepest condolences to the Kaunda family during their bereavement and pray for strength as they come to terms with this sad loss. Bashikulu KK will be sorely missed by all Zambians and the rest of the people on the African continent. Rest in peace gallant son of Africa.