Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan have joined leaders across the world to mourn the demise of former President of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
Kaunda died today (Thursday) after a protracted illness. He was aged 97. He was born April 28, 1924 and died June 17, 2021. The first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991, Kaunda was in the forefront for the Independence of Zambia from the British rule.
He ruled the nation for 27 years as his country gained Independence on October 24, 1964 from Britain. His book, “Zambia Shall Be Free”, provoked emotions worldwide when it was published in 1962 and sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
President Buhari described him as African colossus and patriotic leader who defended his people with uttermost zeal. In a condolence message personally signed by him, Jonathan, said “I am deeply saddened by the passing on of former Zambian President and foremost Pan-Africanist Dr Kenneth Kaunda who died today at the age of 97 years.
“Not only was he of very great significance to Africa’s struggle for liberation he was also quite significant to me. I met him as a much younger politician and I am glad to have maintained a close relationship with the great sage.
“Kaunda was a specimen of the highest level of patriotism. He was also a strong promoter of Pan-Africanism, an idea that has reached maturity with the African Continental Free Trade Area, which itself was a product of the vision of men and women like Mr. Kaunda.
“His life was a pattern of good works, and his post Presidential work in providing relief for HIV/AIDS patients, as well as promoting practices and measures to curb the spread of the virus are remembered.
“During my time as the Governor of Bayelsa State in 2006, Pa Kaunda visited and spent two days with us in Yenagoa, because of our shared interest in the protection of our peoples against the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
“I recall with relish the impressive pace displayed by Kaunda, then aged 82 years, at the symbolic Three Arms Walk for HIV/AIDS on the streets of Yenagoa.
“He visited me a couple of times when I was in office as President of Nigeria. We saw last in 2016 when I visited him while I was in Zambia as Head of African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission”.
Zambian capital, Lusaka, was a mourning zone today (Thursday) as people cried their hearts out, lamenting “the great teacher is gone, the great teacher is gone!”. Some even call him KK.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) referred to him as Zambian’s Independence Hero as Zambia, the Southern African nation, begins mourning Thursday.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.