Zambia’s First President, Kenneth Kaunda Dies at 97

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The founding president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda is dead at the age of 97.

According to his son, Kambarage, he died at a military hospital in Lusaka where he was being treated for pneumonia.

Kaunda, who was regarded as the liberation hero, ruled Zambia for 27 years, starting from 1964 after the country gained independence from Britain. He left his position in 1991 and became one of Africa’s most committed activists against HIV/AIDS.

Even though Zambia’s copper-based economy did not perform well under his long stewardship, Kaunda will be remembered more for his role as an anti-colonial fighter who stood up to white minority-ruled South Africa.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu had subsequently requested that citizens should offer prayers for him.

Lungu stated:

“He stood up for this great nation at its most critical moment, and so we can all stand up for him in his moment of weakness.”