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Kenneth Kaunda: Memorial held for Zambia’s first president



A state memorial service for Zambia’s first president, Kenneth Kaunda, has been held with a 21 gun salute and a fly previous by the air drive.

Mr Kaunda died final month, aged 97, after affected by pneumonia.

He was one of many final of a era of African rulers who fought colonial rule, and have become president after Zambia gained its independence in 1964.

The service is being held at a stadium within the capital, Lusaka, the place international dignitaries are paying tributes.

Contained in the stadium, many Zambians additionally waved white handkerchiefs in tribute to the previous chief who was not often seen with out one.

After his dying, the federal government declared three weeks of nationwide mourning, with all types of leisure suspended. His physique was additionally taken across the nation for members of the general public to pay their respects.

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has additionally declared public holidays for the times of the memorial and the funeral – which will probably be held in non-public subsequent Wednesday.

Amongst these at Friday’s ceremony have been the leaders of Kenya and Ghana, in addition to South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, who shared photos of the day on social media.

Kaunda – popularly generally known as KK – was a robust supporter of efforts to finish apartheid in South Africa. He was additionally a number one supporter of liberation actions in Mozambique and what’s now Zimbabwe.

Talking on the ceremony, African Union chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat mentioned Kaunda a “large amongst males” and “the final of the founding fathers who delivered independence to extra than simply his personal land”.

“Had it not been for the selfless efforts of his era I might not be earlier than you at present because the African Union wouldn’t exist,” added Mr Mahamat. “We’re ceaselessly indebted to Kenneth Kaunda and the individuals of Zambia.”

File image of Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda dominated Zambia for 27 years

Kaunda rose to prominence as a key determine in what was then Northern Rhodesia’s independence motion from Britain within the Nineteen Fifties.

He was nicknamed by some “Africa’s Gandhi” for his non-violent method to activism.

As head of the left-leaning United Nationwide Independence Get together (UNIP), Kaunda then led the nation via a long time of one-party rule.

Martin Luther King & Kenneth Kaunda in 1960

Kaunda was strongly influenced by the insurance policies of Martin Luther King

However his reputation at house waned as he turned more and more autocratic, and he stepped down after shedding multi-party elections in 1991.

In later life, Kaunda turned his consideration to the struggle towards HIV after one among his sons, Masuzyo, died from an Aids-related illness.

“We fought colonialism. We should now use the identical zeal to struggle Aids, which threatens to wipe out Africa,” he informed Reuters news company in 2002.


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