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Former Zambian Leader Kenneth Kaunda Dies Aged 97


By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus – Former Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda, was pronounced dead yesterday at the age of 97 at a military hospital in Lusaka. 

According to his aides, Kaunda succumbed to pneumonia and did not have COVID-19.

Kaunda was the first president of Zambia, serving from 1964 to 1991. Having been a popular and key figure in the fight for the then Northern Rhodesia's independence in the 1950s, he would go on to become its first black national leader in 1964. 

He stepped down from the country’s presidency after losing a multi-party election to Frederick Chiluba, handing over power in November 1991.

He is greatly remembered for aiding the liberation of Zimbabwe and Mozambique and helping the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. 

Kaunda is also remembered for his fight against HIV/AIDS, more especially after one of his sons, Masuzyo, died from an AIDS-related disease.

“We fought colonialism. We must now use the same zeal to fight AIDS, which threatens to wipe out Africa,” he told Reuters in 2002.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in a tweet eulogized the fallen leader as one who “contributed to the freedom of Africa.” 

Photo: The Indian Express