18th June 2021
I have learnt with great sadness of the passing on of a great icon of Africa, H.E. President Kenneth Kaunda, former President of the Republic of Zambia, at a military hospital in the capital Lusaka only days after being admitted.
On behalf of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), the ecumenical movement in the continent, and my own behalf, I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, relatives and the citizens of Zambia, on the death of Kaunda, a man who lived a life of great significance in the continent.
Kaunda was the last of the great PanAfricanists.
He will be remembered as the founding father of the nation of Zambia, which he led to independence from Britain in 1964. As president, his personal integrity remained unquestioned despite his ruling Zambia for 27 years, in a continent where many leaders are of dubious moral probity.
He demonstrated unflinching support for the liberation of Africa. He was one of the biggest supporters of liberation movements in the countries of Southern Africa such as South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia, most of whom remained under white minority rule long after the rest of Africa had gained independence. This support came at heavy cost, as the colonialists regularly attacked Zambia due to this, but he was undeterred
Forever the patriot, Kaunda bowed out gracefully after losing the country’s first multiparty elections in 1991 to trade unionist, Frederick Chiluba, and seamlessly transitioned to being a great African statesman. He used his considerable stature to raise global attention to the many issues afflicting his continent.
He became a champion of the fight against HIV/AIDS that has so ravaged the continent, himself having experienced its vagaries first hand, when his son died from the disease.
Easily recognizable and well-loved across the continent, Kaunda represented the last of the great African statesmen, who came into leadership when leaders of a nascent Africa dared dream of the greatness of one Africa, prosperous, united, free. This will be his enduring legacy as he exits the stage.
May God give Mzee Kenneth Kaunda eternal peace. Amen
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Rev. Dr. Fidon MWOMBEKI