| Kenneth Kaunda |
Chinsali, Northern Rhodesia
|Died||17 June 2021 (Age 97)|
Kenneth David Kaunda (born 28 April 1924), also known as KK, was the first President of an independent Zambia (previously Northern Rhodesia) from 1964 to 1991.
Kenneth Kaunda is the youngest of eight children born to an ordained Church of Scotland missionary and teacher. He followed his father's steps in becoming a teacher. He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from British rule. Dissatisfied with Nkumbula's leadership of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress, he broke away and founded the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and President of Zambia.
From 1968, all political parties except UNIP were banned. At the same time, Kaunda oversaw the acquisition of majority stakes in key foreign-owned companies. The oil crisis of 1973 and a slump in export revenues put Zambia in a state of economic crisis. International pressure forced Kaunda to change the rules that had kept him in power. Multi-party elections took place in 1991, in which Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, ousted Kaunda. 15 December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda attended Nelson Mandela's state funeral in South Africa. A worldwide television audience witnessed Zambia's founding president jogging to the stage to make an unscheduled address. Kaunda described how he had negotiated with the Boers for the release of Madiba: fruitlessly with Vorster and Botha but successfully with De Klerk.
Kenneth Kaunda eulogised:
- "This great son of the world, not only South African… Madiba showing us the way, whether you're white, black, yellow or brown, you're all God's children. Come together, work together and God will show you the way."