Countries pay tribute to the late founding president of Zambia, who is revered for helping many movements on the continent fight colonization.
Leaders across Africa paid tribute to Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda, who died on Thursday at the age of 97, declaring several days of mourning in their respective countries.
During his reign, Kaunda hosted many independence or equality movements in other parts of the continent that stood for the rule of white minorities in countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Rhodesia, and now Zimbabwe.
Namibian President Haig Gingob said in a statement that Africa had lost a “human giant”.
“Kenneth Kunda was a generous, charming and determined leader who liberated our region from colonialism.”
Africa has lost a human giant. Kenneth Kaunda, K.K. , as we affectionately called him, was generous, friendly, and above all determined to liberate our region from colonialism. We lost the Central Committee. But Africans and Namibians are eternally grateful for his stellar contribution to freedom. RIP KK:
– Hage G. Geingob (@hagegeingob) June 17, 2021
Appreciating their contribution to the various battles, some African countries on Friday declared different regions of mourning and lowered their national flags on a pole.
South Africa will mourn for 10 days, and Botswana, Namibia and Tanzania will pay their respects in seven days, their presidents said.
Z imbabwe will mourn for three days.
“Father of African Independence”
South African President Cyril Ramafosa described Kaunda as “a justly respected father of African independence and unity”.
“Under his leadership, Zambia provided shelter, care and assistance to freedom fighters who had to leave their home countries,” Ramafosa said.
“He stood by the people of South Africa in times of great need, and he was steadfast in his desire for our freedom. “We will never be able to repay the debt of gratitude,” Ramafosa added.
Kaunda provided logistical support to a number of African liberation movements, including the Zimbuwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), the imb’s imbabwe South African Rhodesia (South African Union), and the South African National Congress (ANC).
The freedom of the ANC radio was allowed to be broadcast from Lusakia, the capital of Zambia. It was under the protection of Kaunda that the ANC started an armed struggle, and then a diplomatic one against apartheid.
“Kunda’s commitment to the liberation of Africa will never be forgotten,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame tweeted.
“His leadership will continue to live on the continent, the legacy of pan-Africanism for generations,” he said.
My heartfelt condolences to the family of President Kenneth Kaunda and the people of Ambia. His commitment to the liberation of Africa will never be forgotten. His leadership on the continent ությունը The legacy of pan-fragmentation will continue to live for generations.
– Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) June 18, 2021
Ugandan opposition leader Bobby Wayne said Kaunda was one of the “few survivors of independence” in Africa.
Kaunda ruled the amb for 27 years, taking over after the country became independent from Britain in October 1964.
“It was not enough for our founding father to liberate his country Zambia while the region and the African continent remained in the shackles of colonialism and apartheid,” President Edgar Lung told mourners at his home in Lusaka, Kaunda, on Friday.
“He has come a long way in seeking freedom for humanity,” Lungu said.
Funeral programs are yet to be announced, but in his home country, 21 days of national mourning are being held, and flags are being flown at half-mast, all entertainment is forbidden.
Retiring, Kaunda became a respected voice on the continent, ranging from mediation in conflicts to his AIDS campaign after the disease killed one of his own sons.
“She was courageous and relentless in her fight against HIV-related stigma and discrimination,” said Winnie Bianyima, Executive Director of UNHCR.