KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has described the fallen, former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda as a true Pan-Africanist, who made his contribution to the freedom of Africa.
“Mzee KK, as he was fondly called, made a big contribution in his life. He fought for Zambia’s independence and he made a big contribution to the freedom struggle of the liberation of the subcontinent of Southern Africa,” President Museveni posted in his condolence message on twitter.
“…I am referring to the liberation of Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia,” he said.
He recounted, how in the late 60s Kaunda enabled FRELIMO to open the third front in Tete Province of Mozambique.
According to President Museveni, this was in addition to the active Fronts of Cabo Delgado and Niassa which took the fight to the rear of the Portuguese colonialists and had a decisive impact in the defeat of the Portuguese in 1974.
“Lusaka had representation from most of the Liberation movements in Southern Africa,” Museveni said.
He also revealed how president Kaunda welcomed many Ugandan exiles during the time of Idi Amin, and how Ugandans had got jobs and education in Zambia when they ran out of Uganda.
“I salute his contribution and I salute his memory. May His soul rest in eternal peace,” President Museveni said.
However, the Uganda president said that since Mzee Kaunda was still sharp, it would have been good to have him longer and benefit from his wisdom.
“Although God has blessed him with many years of life, departing at 97 years, since his brain was still sharp, we could have had more years of his wisdom,” he said.
– Kenneth Kaunda –
Kenneth David Kaunda, also known as KK succumbed to pneumonia this morning at Maina Soko Medical Centre, a military hospital in Lusaka, according to a statement from his family.
“I am sad to inform we have lost Mzee,” Kaunda’s son, Kambarage, wrote on his late father’s Facebook page, using a term of respect. “Let’s pray for him.”
Born the youngest of eight children of a Presbyterian minister on April 28, 1924 at Lubwa mission in the north of the then Northern Rhodesia, Kaunda taught at Lubwa from 1943 to 1947 before moving to the Copperbelt mining area, where his political career developed as he sought to end the racial discrimination of the colonial regime.
In the 1950s, he organised boycotts of butchers discriminating against blacks and became a founding member of the Zambia African National Congress (ZANC).
He later joined the United National Independence Party (UNIP), and led it to victory in elections at independence.
Kaunda had nine children with his wife Betty, who died in 2012.