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Zambia’s First President Kenneth Kaunda Dies at the Age 97

Kenneth Kaunda

The founding President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, died at the age of 97 on Thursday evening. He was the Champion of African Nationalism who spearheaded the fight to end white minority rule across Southern Africa.

Kaunda’s death was announced Thursday evening by Zambian President Edgar Lungu on his official Twitter page.
“Dear KK,
I learnt of your passing with great sadness. You have gone at a time we least expected but we are comforted that you are now with Our Father, God Almighty in heaven.
I pray that the Kaunda family is comforted as we mourn a true African icon.” Zambian President Edgar Lungu wrote.

Zambia has declared 21 days of national mourning.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his grief at the demise of the Zambian First President. Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote –
“Saddened to hear of the demise of Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, a respected world leader and statesman. My deepest condolences to his family and the people of Zambia.”

The former President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, was admitted to the hospital on Monday and officials later said he was being treated for pneumonia.
The southern African country is currently battling a surge in Covid 19 cases and Kaunda was admitted to Maina Soko Medical Center, a military hospital which is a center for treating the disease in the capital, Lusaka.

Early Life Of President Kaunda –
Kaunda was born in April 1924, the youngest of eight children to a Church of Scotland missionary and teacher. He followed his father’s footsteps into teaching and entered into the political scenario political teeth in the early 1950s with the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress.
He was a schoolteacher who became a fiery African nationalist, his country’s first president and fierce advocate of majority rule across Africa.
Kaunda came to prominence as a leader of the campaign to end colonial rule of his country, then known as Northern Rhodesia, and was elected the first president of Zambia in 1964.
During his 27-year rule, he gave critical support to armed African nationalist groups that won independence for neighboring countries including Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

He remained lifelong friends with Mandela after the anti-apartheid leader’s release from prison, quipping that they shared the same bond of 27 years.

Also Read: Covid 19 Second Wave and Acute Shortage of Oxygen in India

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Written by Headline8 Desk

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