Opposition MDC Alliance has mourned Zambia’s founding President Kenneth David Kaunda who passed away Thursday at a military hospital in Lusaka at the age of 97.
In a statement, MDC Alliance secretary for international relations Gladys Hlatswayo described the former statesman as a person who lived an exemplary life that personified different values.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the Kaunda family and the people of Zambia on this loss. President Kaunda lived an extraordinary and exemplary life that embodied the pan-African values of selflessness, service, sacrifice and solidarity. The liberation history of southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, can never be written without acknowledging the important role played by President Kaunda.
“Affectionately known as ‘KK’, President Kaunda worked tirelessly with other leaders of the frontline states to ensure that the region was liberated from the shackles of colonial domination and apartheid. He was a founding father of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC),” said Hlatswayo.
She said Africa had lost an icon who contributed to the independence of Zimbabwe and in fighting a worthy cause in the fight against HIV/Aids.
“President Kaunda was also one of the first African leaders to hand over power peacefully following an electoral defeat in 1991. He dedicated his post presidency era to worthy causes including the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“Africa has lost a great statesman and one of its iconic giants! In the true sense of our African philosophy of ubuntu and in recognition of the immense contribution of this great son of the soil to Zimbabwe’s independence, Zimbabwe must immediately declare a period of mourning,” she said.
Kaunda served as the first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from British rule.
Zambian incumbent President Edgar Lungu has since declared 21 days of mourning for the late liberation hero.