Founding President Sam Nujoma has described Zambia’s founding president, the late Kenneth Kaunda, as “Africa’s most outstanding son of the soil, a statesman and foresighted leader of our time.”
Kaunda, who died on 17 June 2021 in Lusaka at the age of 97, is expected to be buried on 7 July at the country’s presidential burial site.
He served as Zambia’s president from 1964 until 1991. Swapo’s Nujoma and United National Independence Party founder Kaunda personally knew each other and worked together first as fellow freedom fighters and later for the Pan-African Freedom Movement of East, Central and Southern Africa.
Nujoma, while conveying his condolences in a statement Tuesday, referred to Kaunda as one of the founding fathers of Africa, whose country during his leadership became the political mecca and frontline state hosting several African
national liberation movements.
“The Zambian people under the leadership of Kaunda went beyond their national interests and embraced and extended hospitality to many exiled citizens of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Southwest Africa, now Namibia, at great cost,” Nujoma said.
He said these noble acts led to many sacrifices in the form of loss of human lives and destruction of the economic infrastructure as a result of acts of military aggression and destabilisation by the apartheid regime of South Africa and the colonial forces of Southern Rhodesia under Ian Smith.
“With his passing Zambia, Africa and the world at large have lost a truly great statesman, a towering intellectual figure and a charismatic leader of our time who was also a humanitarian who contributed in the fight against the HIV and AIDS crisis through his foundation Children of Africa,” Nujoma added.
President Hage Geingob on Thursday described Kaunda as a generous, affable man who had a
resolute commitment to the freedom of southern Africa. “Africa has lost a giant of a man. On behalf of the people of Namibia and Government of the Republic of Namibia, I extend my condolences to his children, the family and the fraternal people of the Republic of Zambia,” said Geingob.