First republican president Kenneth Kaunda

By Evarsto Mupeta

1969. With small and colourful papers depicting the Zambian flag proudly held in our hands,and clad in starch and perfectly ironed khaki grey uniforms and shiny black Bata shoes on our feet, our waiting reached the climax when the presidential motorcade arrived.
Then we saw him waving his white handkerchief,a broad smile on his face. Just to have had a glimpse of our president had evoked much inspiration among the young and old alike.Who would not love him when Dr Kenneth Kaunda the man and the leader had the charisma to inspire crowds? Who would not jostle for a better place to view Dr Kaunda-the president with a genuine passion and great vision to uplift the living standards of the Zambian people?

It was five years after Zambia’s independence from Britain on 24 th October 1964. Primary and secondary schools were built. Enrolment in primary education more than doubled from 3000,000 to over 700,000. Colleges were being built and a university had already been constructed. The energy sector received a relatively high boost with the building of the Kariba Hydro Electric Power Station.These and other milestone developments,all envisaged in the Transitional National Development Plan(1964-66) and the First National Development Plan(1966-70).Boy, this Dr Kaunda had the tenacity to build Zambia’s infrastructure-roads,clinics and health centres and hospitals were established over a short period of time.

Unifier

While other African countries lapsed into civil wars and bloodshed,not in Dr Kaunda’s Zambia.It took the magnanimity and insight of Dr Kaunda to unite the seventy two plus tribal and ethnic groups into the strong single entity that Zambia is today.

The Economy

Fortune was,Zambia was born with a copper spoon in her mouth. Misfortune was, the copper spoon could no longer hold. It was the best of times.It was an era of abundance.We applauded the government’s generosity at providing maize mealie meal, Zambia’s staple food, at such affordable prices.We then joined the rank and file to attend the United National Independence Party(UNIP) rallies and sloganeering with others”UNIP mulilo,uwaikatako apya!”(UNIP is fire, whoever touches it gets burnt!”)

Surely, Zambia’s economy had got in touch with the fire of the then ruling party and the various economic sectors were burnt to “ashes”! We woke up to discover that there was neither an egg nor butter for breakfast as promised.We woke up to start experiencing long queues for essential commodities at Zambia Consumer Buying Corporation(ZCBC) and other retail outlets. Your mother considered you a hero to have bought a 50kg bag of mealie meal at a shop characterised by long queues. Of course you must have waken up around 0500 hours to have secured an advantageous number on the line.

That was the policy of subsidising consumption rather than production. Zambia was a welfare state, call it that if you like. Dr Kaunda’s leftist leaning and nationalisation of the major means of production severely backfired by the latter part of the 1980’s. One case of the people’s frustration was in December 1986. The increase in the prices of meal mealie sparked some violet protests on the Copperbelt where copper is largely mined.

There were also other problems like the decline in copper prices and escalating oil prices on the world market over which Dr Kaunda or Zambia had no control.

Or saying it plainly, the economy is one area in which Dr Kaunda fared tragically, leaving Zambia with a huge external debt. Despite the economic difficulties we would eat whatever was there to eat and rushed to play football on patchy grounds, peacefully and unmindful of harm whatsoever, to emphasise again that Dr Kaunda’s Zambia was a haven of tranquility. There on the football field we would imitate the sensational and prolific scorer Godfrey “Ucar” Chitalu (late) and other great footballers of that time. Just as today’s young people emulate the exceptionally gifted players to feature in the 2010 World Cup very soon to commence in South Africa.

While we were playing football, some of the girls, not far from our vicinity, would be playing iciyenga , a common pass time game whereby the player articulates to bring some stones into a circle. The peculiarity about those girls was that they were all wearing long dresses or long skirts reaching far beyond their knees. As if what they had worn were not enough, some of the girls would wrap a usually two metre cloth material(icitenge) around the their waist to fortify the non exposure of their legs. The godliness and conservative nature of Zambia, even in dressing was complete and admirable. Impregnable moral and cultural values are at the core of life in Zambia.

So even after we had expended all our energy on soccer until almost sunset and still found the girls fidgeting with those stones, we did not need to be reminded, if the motive was mischievous, to keep away from members of the opposite sex. Greetings and pleasantries were sufficient; we strictly knew our boundaries. In any case you had to give a convincing reason to your parents why and where you had been lingering during the evening beyond the time set for you to be indoors. We were religiously obedient to our parents and were just glad to be home early. Those gleeful, wonderful and formative years of our adolescence, in Dr Kaunda’s Zambia, come with irresistible nostalgia. Nostalgia and deep appreciation that our parents and guardians (including Dr Kaunda- himself a strong and exemplary believer in intact family norms) for having fostered in us virtues that have made us extraordinary achievers (in our own right) in the exciting and complex realities of life.

Yet Dr Kaunda did it before Dr Dambisa Moyo wrote it in her book Dead Aid. .(Congratulation to Dr Moyo for emerging as an outstanding advisor in international economics and finance and for her book in which among other pertinent issues she counsels Third World countries to reduce their dependence on donor aid or altogether abandon foreign aid) . In May 1987 in what was a far reaching decision, Dr Kaunda announced that Zambia was terminating her contract with the International Monetary Fund(IMF). It was news of astonishing proportions. What country, financially stressed as Zambia was ,did not need the help of the IMF and the World Bank? He could not bear any more currency devaluation, wage freeze, public expenditure control, and other conditionalities of the world’s lending institutions. The consequences regardless Dr Kaunda was courageous and swerved the nation along that line. Courage, as you know is a virtue of a great leader, and Dr Kaunda’s life in many ways epitomizes courage.

So, however, we were back to the bad and the discomfort. No Coca Cola. No Fanta, no soft drinks manufactured by multinational corporations.The replacement came in form of locally made soft drinks names too far fetched to remember. No competition.No innovation. The absurd things socialism can do to a nation!

Birth And Political Background

Son of the missionary Rev David Kaunda of the Church of Scotland Kaunda was born of deeply religious parents on 28 April,1924 in Lubwa mission, Chinsali,a district in Northern province, one of Zambia’s nine provinces.Kaunda’s father died when Kaunda was eight years old.Kaunda was selected for secondary school at Munali,in Lusaka when he was seventeen years old.He excelled at Literature in English, this explains why composition of poems and songs to him flow easily. After completing a one year(1943-44) course in teaching he became a teacher. He served as boarding master of Mufulira Upper School from 1948-49. For a man certainly born a natural leader,Kaunda rose to the various levels of leadership effortlessly-people and events are always attracted to him.

As the political struggle against colonialism gained ground, Kaunda joined politics and brilliantly and effectively organised, as district secretary the Northern Rhodesia African National Congress(NRANC). His dedication and hard work saw him rise to the post of provincial secretary, a position he held for only one year(1952-53). Then Kaunda became the secretary General of ANC in 1953 until 1958 when he founded the more radical Zambia African National Congress(ZANC). Although Kaunda’ s strong nationalist views were clipped by the colonial government by sending him and other militant freedom fighters to prison and banning ZANC, he became, after being released, president of the United National Independence Party(UNIP) formed in 1959 to replace ZANC. UNIP led Zambia to self rule. Kaunda became the president of the Republic of Zambia at forty years, one of the youngest and most radiant presidents of his generation.

UDI And The Liberation Struggle:The Dilemma,His Unwavering Commitment And

Truimph

One year after Zambia’s Independence, came unsavoury news from her southern colonised neighbour, Rhodesia(now Zimbabwe).
I an Douglas Smith unleashed his Unilateral Declaration of Independence(UDI). The serious implication of Smith’s action was that it placed on Dr Kaunda, for fifteen years running a complex and burdensome situation. Similar to a man who has had an extremely important outlet for his children and goods through the neighbour’s yard but that neighbour suddenly closes the way. Remember, Zambia is a landlocked country. How would the bulk of Zambia’s copper exports be safely exported? The intransigence and severity of UDI on the oppressed people of Rhodesia was agonising and was widely condemned.Even Zambia, by her proximity to Rhodesia felt the harshest impact. How would Zambia’s goods pass through a country against which economic sanctions had now been declared by the international community?

Dr Kaunda,or KK as he is popularly known, had the wisdom and decisiveness to handle the intricacies of UDI,even when some of the Western countries would not help him find reliable alternative routes.In partnership with Tanzania, Zambia’s northern neighbour,he turned to China.That was how the 1860 kilometres Tanzania Zambia Railway(Tazara) was established.The Chinese built the railway line from Kapiri Mposhi (Zambia) to Dar es Saa am(Tanzania)

Yes,wars of liberation were raging in Angola,Namibia,Mozambique,(these three countries share borders with Zambia) and South Africa.Dr Kaunda had a well placed conviction that Zambia’s independence was not complete without the liberation of those in Southern Africa and those oppressed in other parts of the world.His desire to free Southern Africa reverberate in almost every speech he gave.He unequivocally supported the quest for freedom at an enormous cost;channelling the resources towards the struggle exacted a heavy toll on the Zambian economy.And those incursions by I an Smith’s Selous Scouts made the situation worse,apart from killing they often left Zambia’s economic installations like bridges destroyed. Supporting the liberation struggle in Southern Africa was the best course of action he took in his foreign policy.

Leadership:An Optimist

Pass through the short “tunnel” or passage below Findeco House, Lusaka’s twenty two storey and tallest building.Beneath the fly over bridge joining the Kafue roundabout.On your way to Kamwala shopping centre.As you and others hurriedly walk through the tunnel visibility of light is evident even before you reach the exit.In the various fields of “human endeavour”as Dr Kaunda would say, Zambia in his era was going through tunnels darker and longer than the one just mentioned.But Dr Kaunda true of a leader of unshakable faith was always encouraging Zambians that there was “light at the end of the tunnel.”

It was just after Dr Kaunda had lost in the landmark elections that brought Dr Chiluba and the Movement For Multi Party Democracy (MMD) to power in 1991.You should have been there to see the crowd that had gathered at Freedom House,the UNIP national headquarters in Cairo road -the main road in Lusaka-Zambia’s capital city.Reason?Just to have a glimpse of the man now vilified-the former president who in their opinion had led them into poverty, instead of prosperity.Dr Kaunda braved the snares and boos of the crowd;he is a true leader refined for triumph or defeat,sunshine or rain,joy or sorrow.But wait.He was only momentarily vanquished this manner of a great man.In due course he would recapture his popularity or fame.

Leadership:Charisma

Dr Kaunda is a leader endowed with a strong personality.He was in charge-his presence could be felt. If you do not believe that he is a man of a compelling personality let this one be graciously pulled out.Just an announcement on television or clipping in national newspapers that president Kaunda would address a press conference the following day the whole nation would be as expectant and jittery as looking forward to the outcome of a crucial qualifying football match, say, between Zambia and Egypt. By the time he took his seat at the scheduled news conference,some of his ministers would have been gripped with much uneasiness-had they been fired?

Would they be showered with glowing praise?Would he unfairly call some people “stupid idiots?”They were apprehensive that Dr Kaunda would speak that day,even in the capital cities of the Western nations.After he had finished speaking,some would hate him to love him greatly while others would love him to hate him more.He had spoken.He had spoken.Spoken about the evils of colonialism and apartheid with frankness,brutality and repetition that irked them.If as a journalist your surname is Hall you had to be careful for asking the right but probing questions.My dear KK would sarcastically tell you “hollow-minded”or something like that. Was this the press freedom we were often lectured about?Was this the freedom of expression we were encouraged to pursue?

Leadership :Influence

He schooled leaders who are loyal and selfless-the kind that is in public life for the sole purpose of serving the people and the nation.Those, not primarily there to deep their fingers into the bowl of national funds and end up as plunderers.That is why after the UNIP era in 1991,some,if not most of those who had served in Dr Kaunda’s government had little to boast about financially and materially.

Some of them had neither much technocracy nor education but humble and an assuming men and women who became some of the finest leaders Zambia has ever had.

During his presidency, he successfully hosted in Lusaka international conferences in which he played a pivotal role.There was the Organisation Of African Unity (OAU) the fore runner to the African Union(AU).Dr Kaunda was the chairman of the OAU in 1970 and 1987.The Non Alignment Summit was held on the Zambian soil in 1970, just like the Commonwealth Heads Of States Summit in August 1979.In all these and other global fora Dr Kaunda’s voice to free Southern Africa resonated with great assertiveness and urgency-and he wept-as he often does when dealing with emotive issues.

Visit or mention South Africa,North West Province for that matter you find that there is Dr Kenneth Kaunda Municipality.Formerly known as the Southern District Municipality,the area was renamed to bear Dr Kaunda’s name on 25 April 2008. The adoption of Dr Kaunda’s name was overwhelming.The name is synonymous with invaluable contribution to the freedom struggle in Africa;outstanding leadership;peace and progress initiatives in Africa..For such a large Municipality with abundant and beautiful natural resources and all its clusters of wealth to be named after Dr Kaunda tells volumes about Zambia’s former president. Or let us say the choice of Dr Kaunda’s name by the Municipality is a honour not just to the former head of state but also to Zambia.

Crusader Against HIV/AIDS

Hear his rich voice with that of Rikki Illilonga in “We Shall Fight AIDS” an eleven tract cd.Through the Kenneth Kaunda Children Of Africa Foundation (KKCAF) which he founded he has become an important and active crusader of a noble cause-sensitizing those in Zambia and abroad about the dangers of the killer disease.

It is a cause about which he empathizes with those who have been infected.His fatherly figure and spirit truly identifies with them.It takes a man who felt what it feels to lose a precious family member to the scourge of AIDS.The Kaunda’s lost their son to AIDS,an incident which,in rare integrity, prompted them to go public about the deadliness of the disease.

Author

Read his articles in some of the national tabloids.You become hooked and inspired by his insight over many national and world issues.
Dr Kaunda has authored,among others Zambia Shall Be Free (his biography), Letter To My Children (written while he was president) in which he apologised to his children for not giving them as much time as he should because of tight work schedules.LTC is addressed to the youth in general.In Kaunda On Violence he painstakingly explains why after many years of pacifism which he had learnt from Mahatma Gandhi he had to support the armed struggle option-in the politics to free Southern Africa from colonial rule. And do not forget that Dr Kaunda is a man of humour.He leaves you laughing with with many of his jokes and anecdotes.

Time For Everything:A Contest Uncontested

By 1996 it seemed Dr Kaunda had not been giving significant attention to the words”There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under heaven.”(Ecclesiastes 3:1) It was unsettling to hear him announce that he still wanted to go back to State House,as Republican president.That decision was not short of political drama.The unsightly and embarrassing happened;an incident we wish must not have occurred.Oh, no,not to a man as dignified as our dear KK.While attempting to hold a rally Dr Kaunda was grazed by a bullet fired by a policeman because the government of the day had declared that meeting illegal.If only.If only Dr Kaunda had not re-entered the fray of competitive politics!

Whether it was done to have continued grip on power or out of mere religious curiosity it was mind boggling,nay,abominable for Dr Kaunda,during the last term of his rule to have involved himself with the David Universal Temple which was built near State House.God was certainly angry that in a nation that is strongly Christian its president started consulting religions other than Christianity.

The Christians,a determinant force on who wins the elections began to pray in a fervency unknown before.Christians in Zambia can unceasingly pray(all night or chain- prayer meetings are usually held) and really influence the outcome of elections! That religious stance by Dr Kaunda partly contributed to the whole in his loss of power in October 1991.

Oh, another thing can maul into Dr Kaunda’s legacy.UNIP,typical of a one party rule, was hyper sensitive to the views of the opposition.Those who were critical of its policies suffered systematic marginalisation.

Zambia:To Walk Together Confidently

Many months after we had paraded that road to receive our president my five friends and fellow pupils and I, were excitedly knocking off from school as we sang a newly learnt song:

Twaisa pamo, tuli baqanda imo
Lyonse fye.
Nakuntashi Ukotuleya
We have come together,we are one
We belong to one household
We shall always be together even in future.

As we sang the song we could now hear sweetly blaring from a radio in a nearby house a song of almost unmistakable similarity and flavour to our own.For a short time we became motionless like cars waiting for the green road traffic light-we listened more as the song rose to a new crescendo.It was Dr Kaunda,probably before addressing a meeting somewhere singing his favourite song Tiyende Pamodzi Ndi Mutima Umo (Let us Walk Together with One heart)

Yes, we had instinctively and tacitly made a resolution to cherish unity.That, regardless of tribal,ethnic, racial backgrounds or any differences, in Dr Kaunda’s nation and successive leaderships in Zambia we would always clasp our hands into one another ‘s -as one wonderful,vibrant,progressive and victorious people.
We are exceedingly proud that in Dr Kaunda we have a patriarch and architect of the Zambian nation.
We are grateful that our own Dr Kaunda has truly lived to be an embodiment of love,wisdom,selflessness,unity, fortitude and a progressive vision.

Happy 86th birthday KK!

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73 COMMENTS

  1. Long live KK!! My concern is,he should have introduced market policies much earlier after the collapse of copper prices than resort to excessive borrowing for consumption with the hope that prices will bounce back and repay the loans.That aside,KK’s vision for Zambia is unmatched!!

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  2. I salute KK^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^^:)^ MMD will be 20tears in power and they have nothing to show for it except corruption and tribalism.I personally came to be aware of my tribe in FTJ’s reign,i was practically related to everybody.
    20 year yet you are still re-invetting the wheel shame :-??:-??:-??

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  3. Long live KK, despite his many failings in the latter years when he became a dictator. Had it not been for KK, I wouldn’t have the flying colors that makes me survive in the US. Yes, he unified us as Zambians. Then came that little dragon, Kafupi, who saw it wise to remind us of our tribes by constantly makimg it clear to all that it paid to be Bemba in Zambia, even though he didn’t know, himself, that he isn’t Bemba. That pygmy did more harm to us than all the bad men in Zambia could do to a nation. long live KK. Masipa a hao, nja!

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  4. Much respect to Dr. Kaunda. If by any chance we have any historians ‘in the building’, could someone kindly clarify if it is true that when Dr. Kaunda’s son shot a woman, the law was quickly changed to ensure the man was not punished. I am very much aware that we sometimes have a tendency to have a collective amnesia when it comes to questioning former leaders either after they pass on or once someone fails more than they did at leading the nation. I have respect for Dr. Kaunda because I believe he started out with the aim to serve and his failures were geuine, not necessarily driven by greed. However, I wish his rule would be better documented to allow us the young to debate and learn from some of his wrong doings. This by the way,not to take away from this article.

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  5. KK is a true statesman indeed and I admire him as a person but the truth is that RB, VJ and Sata are remnants of his legacy. He did alot for Zambia but did not do what was right for our future in the sense of developing leaders that would be able to take the nation to the next level. In that regard I would say that Nyerere of Tanzania was more insightful, visionary and selfless. I pray that true leaders with substance emerge on our political scene to replace these merceneries and pretenders we see in all parties.

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  6. KK was a genuine nationalist of his time. Unfortunately, his rule spilled 3 generations beyond where he should have ended. He created many young, intelligent economists that he himself failed to utilize. He preferred bringing in soldiers and generals into politics and economic management. The price we paid for this fear of relinquishes power, make use of the intelligentsia he had created and genuine (innocent) luck of foresight led Zambia to its knees. It is imperative now that we never again engage in over worshiping those chosen by us or God to lead our country, a duty they themselves swear to perform well.
    Disengaging from IMF/world bank would have made Zambia unrecognizable by now. Even Cuba was at a higher level in the sixties when they sought a closed door economic set up. They…

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  7. Imwe anthu, KK was respeonsible for the vigilante mentality that has metamorphosed into kaponya-ism whose English name is Cadre, a real curse to the Zambian society if you asked me. My thing is, he had the resources and the latitude – could have done more with what the country inherited had he graciously taken in constructive criticism. KK was god, as he literally claimed; nobody dare touch him. That is why when kaChiluba first confronted him, he put the little man away. Frustrated Nkumbula out of existence and Kapwepwe chose to continue challenging him to the death.

    Buchizya, thanks for spearheading the struggle for independence. You had to do what you had to do. But now it is time for you to live by your convictions – GO BACK TO THE LAND OLD MAN!

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  8. A Great man who placed Zambia first before self.Most of us from poor families benefited from his free education policy.From primary school to the University of Zambia.

    Long live super ken

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  9. @ 8 Pungwa you are very correct, Kaunda was a dictator, thus Botswana and Seyshelloes are eons ahead of us today. On to the next poin Where Can I watch Barcelona vs. Inter Online. My Projects are not till later afternoon and my Boss adores me, till he gets back later tomorrow I am in Charge so sent a link now:)

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  10. My dear country men and women the game is way into the second half and you are ignoring my request. Kaunda ruled us for 27 years do the math.

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  11. Pungwa #8 Chiluba was put away by KK purely because he was a crook.For your own info FTJ is still a crook who has plundered the Zambia’s little cash.FTJ is nothing to KK when you compare their personal charactors.
    The fact that the late prominent lawyer Edwin Shamwana (who KK had sentenced to death for treason in 1981) later went on to become one of KK ‘s defence lawyers when FTJ charged him with treason speaks volumes about the old man character.

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  12. Imwe ba Shetani, haven’t you had enough years and time to attack the big man. Move on. It’s the big man birthday today just wish him happy birthday. He did the best he could and infact no president todate has matched his accomplishments. He still remains the best so far.

    Ala Shikula Ba KK Happy Birthday and many more years to come and you still look fit and Healthy. When are you publishing your diet on the Internet? We want to look FIT as you at 86 too. Not like RB

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  13. Okay happy birthday KK. True PF Cadre Mandella was in Prison 27 years. Same amount of time Kaunda was president, but he became president and democratically refused to run for a second term go figure. Who is the greater leader? Where is my streaming link.

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  14. Kaunda is part of not developing Zambia. He never thought of development, all he did was to scare zambians from everything- KK must be answerable for everything in zambia. Chiluba even tried to bring back Sugar and Tea bags. IOne thing he did was ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION. Thanks for that -zambians never use guns in politics. GO back to The Land Kaunda- Remember?

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  15. :d Must be disgrantled Arsenal fans on this Blog. Missed a great game, ended up working on structual alignment with GE engineering. Typical of fans of a club that only emerged recently and has never really been a european presence; its no wonder you think Kaunda and his 27 years of dictatorship moved Zambia forward.

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  16. Ba LT this sentence does not make sense

    Enrolment in primary education more than doubled from 3000,000 to over 700,000. Colleges were being built and a university had already been constructed.

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  17. Evaristo, I find it quite sad that you don’t mention the countless and galant sons of mother Zambia that were killed by this man. In my eyes, he will always have blood on his hands! Levy Mwanawasa is by far the best President our country has ever had.

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  18. #8 Pungwa, very insightful. I guess we can argue about how it came to be that ba KK turned into the dictator he did, but certainly the things you bring to light cannot be ignored. Which brings me to what I would draw from the Kaunda experience; that the culture of instilling fear in citizens does litttle to secure the very resource KK invested in, the people? What good does it do a nation if you educate me, if and thereafter you turn me away only to be utilized by the developed world? I think that KK’s biggest gift to us today lies in the lessons we can learn from his rule. It is not disrespectful to call it as it is; it is merely a way to move forward. I worry about our amnesia, for then we never learn and when history repeats itself, it does so for that very reason.

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  19. KK, in part perpetuated the idea that to be appointed to power gave one unquestioned authority to act autonomously while making decisions that affected millions. Such we continue to see today, not because of KK, but rather our failures to recognize how costly it can be to down play these acts, that in turn become accepted behaviors, norms perhaps. One other thing to learn from Super Ken is that it is not enough to replace an unpopular leader simply with the more popular as we did when we elected Chiluba. I would implore us to work on measures and laws that protect us from leaders that may lose sight of the collective goal.
    Thanks Super Ken for the good, the bad and the ugly.

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  20. # 15 Musukuma
    20 yrs on, more than 70 % of infrastructure in Zambia was built by KK, all within a 24 yr time span. Do the maths. You were probably free schooled by KK. He remains one of he greatest African elders.
    God bless you my President.

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  21. Good Evening

    Thanks Evaristo and LT for taking us back down memory lane. Those of us who were born and raised up in that era will always be grateful for having had a bonafide African leader like Dr. Kaunda. May the Lord continue to bless him with long life and good health.

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  22. Dr Kaunda is a great man who did Zambia proud. There is much good he did, but being human he would be the first to admit that he made some mistakes. I await eargerly his authorised biography that will be published soo. I would like to know what kind of relationship he had with Simpundu, S M Kapwepwe. I would like to know his thoughts on human rights and the dreaded inherited ‘Preservation of public security Act’ and on Biafra.

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  23. Free education?! You people of low expectation. You deserved free education! The country was awash in cash and you are thanking somebody for doing what he ought to have done? What kind of ignorance is that. It is like a parent who would stand on the lawn in front of his house boasting that he’d raised his kids well. What did he expect a citumbuwa?

    Look, we deserve better than we got!

    Remember, under KK very few people were allowed to hold a passport. If you don’t attend a UNIP rally the yufi would come and beat you up and would have nowhere to complain. You could not enter the market if you did not own a unip card. The state of emergence was the order of the day – remember operation shi-shi-ta? Seemingly simple but important issues. Go back ti tge land campaign applies to you…

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  24. George Mpombo# 18
    I would like you to mention the names of Gallant sons who were killed by KK?

    I will mention names of prominent people who perished at FTJ’s hands:
    1.Baldwin Nkumbula
    2.Richard Ngenda
    3.Paul Tembo
    4.Ronald Penza
    5.Wezi Kaunda
    6.Edward Shamwana

    Names of people who were KK foes still alive or died after he left power in 1991:
    1.Edward Shamwana
    2.Mr.Musakanya
    3.General Godfrey Miyanda
    4.General ChristonTembo
    5.Col Bizwayo Nkunika
    6.Frederick Chiluba
    7.LT Mwamba Luchembe

    Clearly FTJ has a lot blood on his hands…….

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  25. Youthful citizen #19. I totally agree with your point. In other words, KK’s excesses have provided us with lessons at a cost, but important lessons nonetheless. We can learn and get ennobled by them lessons.

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  26. continued from #25
    I forgot to mention Dean Mungomba who was tortured by FTJ’s people and subsequently died of TB contracted while in Jail.This was during the so called multiparty “democratic dispensation” under popularly elected leader FTJ.Maybe we need to re-define the words”Dictatorship” and “tyranny” in the case of FTJ.

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  27. Independent #25 & 27:
    The very fact that you don’t know any goes to tell you how systemic the rot was. Comparing KK to FTJ is like comparing Obote to Amin. It is easy for you chaps who were outside looking in to draw conclusions based on stage managed events. But the swiftness with which the GRZ machinery moved to do damage control when the cover up of Enos Chomba’s disappearance and subsequent death was blown should jog your memory, assuming you were old enough then. KK’s clamp on the nation had depth and breadth. This should be enough to get you thinking. Bottom line is, though, FTJ’s mountain of seen do not immediately translate into KK’s sainthood.

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  28. Bugsy #28.My challange to you and #18 is to list a handfull of names of those killed the KK regime.To mention one individual and try generalize things is not helpfull.I strongly condemn unfair characterizations of people like Dr Kaunda without clear evidence.That is to say that he did bad things (was a dictator) and that later leaders who took over cleaned up things.Dr Kaundas positives far out-way his negatives.If people want to paint a wrong picture of him by presenting personal opinions instead of facts,we have little choice but to put unbiased evidence to the fore.People should have a clear picture of the political leaders we’ve had independence and judge them fairly.

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  29. Kaunda was a dictator that took a rich nation and forced it into poverty. It took time, but he managed it. Most of the countries ills can be traced back directly to his (mis)rule. If Zambians were more politically astute he would have been brought to court, and now be in jail for the crimes against humanity that he committed. When I see starving children begging on the streets today I know exactly who caused it. While FTJ had his faults, we can thank him that Zambia today is not looking like Zimbabwe, because that is where KK was going.

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  30. KK’s contributions to liberation will never be forgotten together with all those men and women who fought running battles with bamwachusa. However, we’re able to trace the following;

    1. Poverty – KK took a leading role in the liberation of African states, spent huge amounts of money
    without approval from parliament which is the supreme body that approves every ngwee that gov’t
    spends on exp. I wonder why Levy did not extend task force to KK’s rule. How on earth can a
    nation pour its treasury into other nations for free? Did KK consult Zambians?

    2. Poor Leadership – KK instilled fear in his ministers, civil servants, no one could challenge him even
    when wrong and this is the crap we are seeing today where ministers only sing the song of
    their…

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  31. The fun thing about us Zambian is that we support people when they leave officer. I have been observing this for the past years. Look, when Levy was president, people talk a lot of things against him and after his death he become a heore. The same applies to KK. I think we should grow up and learn to reason as this will enable us to progress in life.

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  32. Independent#29:

    What is the standard criteria for judgment iwe independent? What facts do you have? Can you prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that FTJ had a hand in the demise of any of the people you listed? Don’t confuse city legends with fact. take it from me, you don’t have jack! You can’t prove jack! You call speculation fact? Oh, c’mon!

    Condemn all you and see if I care. But tell you what, if you flap your trap too much the law, according to RB, will visit you. Shine your eyes, FTJ is not down and out; not yet. You get my drift? He’s “eating with the powers,” to use his words. Debate wisely for your own safety.

    I gave you one name for a good reason. I would have asked you to read between the lines but that would be asking for too much.

    Figure it out….

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  33. Could there be a reason why KK, though great and with a lot praise on this blog, has kept quiet while Pupiah Banda and William Banda are on the verge of plunging the nation in a serious and dangerous quagmire. KK is in support of the nonsense hence the silence. Suppose it was Sata or HH in charge of the Vigilantes wielding pangas. This man would have said something. If he is a Statesman as supposedly said, why is he quiet?

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  34. Independent, I am afraid you are mixing up two things, one being the judgment as is passed by a court of law which carries a subsequent punishment and the other being the judging that anyone that assumes the position Kaunda did should be subjected to by citizens. The earlier mentioned may need to be proven beyond reasonable doubt while that which we are subjecting ‘Super Ken’ to need not be. The man contributed to our liberation, we agree. That it makes him great, maybe not. For your good deeds of even a thousand years should not exempt you from condemnation for a single bad deed, that is simply what accountability is about, it is the very instrument that protects us from the power that we hand to our Presidents.

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  35. Having said that, we all know that much as we cannot change the past, there are lessons to learn from it. And I think there are those of us that worry about this pattern of trying to defend unacceptable and wrongful acts in a manner not relevant to our concerns. One is elected into power with the expectation that he/she will serve the people in a myriad of ways; it is part of the job description. To act as if any good you do while in power is a favor to the people simply does not hold water. It only misleads and misguides.

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  36. The article in my view is very sentimental in nature.I think,it should be seen as the author’s dedication to KK’s birthday.Zambians,lets stop being emotional with KK’s free education.As an individual,KK is ok,the only reason that most people are praising KK is because FTJ and his MMD sold our dreams through plunder,otherwise,the old man,KK never made a good president,yes the first ten years,he was great and that’s the time he should have handed over to another person-Mainza Chona,John Mwanakatwe,prof Ngoma,etc one of those.The issue of the low copper price and high oil price is neither here nor there-it’s because,KK pumped in $22bn in the liberation of other states and the big source of this money was ZCCM.

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  37. At the same time when the so called price of copper was low,Mpelembe secondary was built and a number of Zambians were being sent to the UK for studies,where did this money come from-the mines.Any manager who worked for the mines then will tell you that,the mines through out were profitable except there was no re-capitalisation hence the production volumes went from something like 700,000 tonnes/year copper to somewhere around 200,000 tonnes/year,this obviously according to the economies of scale will give you less income.I disagree that any reasonable mine in Zambia would be unprofitable,it all depends of putting in an efficient process that would give you bigger profit margins.KK and UNIP took over all the means of production,cadres were running the show with impunity and incompentence.

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  38. Those of us who went to catholic schools bear the blunt experience of how KK took away the running of most catholic schools,the catholic brothers left and were replaced by UNIP headmaster cadres.I personally experienced this.The judiciary was mostly easterners even today,the remnants are there for all to see.The shushushuz were mostly easterners,to date,the directo general is easterner,most headmasters and teachers were shushuz and malawians.KK designed a an intricate system where certain tribes were systematically sidelined but in a very suttle way.Look at Luapula and western provinces,for supporting Nkumbula or ba mayibuye,KK never wanted to develop Luapula and see today how every is rushing there.KK’s son the other year brought in $25m and mwanawasa blocked it,how did he get this…

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  39. Yes long live KK, who needs investment when you can have Farley Winson making diesel from grass, the Maharishi building heaven on earth being given half the country, drink Tip-Top, have to get a personal tax clearance every time you leave the country, unauthorised posession of dollars a criminal offence, and so on. When were you people born to talk such rubbish about “the way things used to be”? You obviously did not experience it

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  40. KK was a useless leader who spent our money fighting for foreigners at the expense of our economy.This man insulted us day and night calling all Zambians, “Stupid I.d.i.o.ts,. ” Under him it was a crime to have a very nice car,forex, he even made it hard to have duo citizenship whilst the bastard hails from Malawi.Getting on a bus one had to fight and get robbed in the process.There was no sugar in stores,no mealie meal, no washing powder, no cooking oil, the list is endless.

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  41. KK had a lot of money to develop our country but what did he do? Most of the infrastructure in Zambia were built before independence. A good example is the public toilets in Katondo Street,Lusaka. The whole Capital City with no proper public toilets. KK has good projects in SA but not in Zambia. He is our first president not the best. He is not genuine. As the FATHER of the nation,he has the responsibility to give good advise to the current leaders. Does he really care for us? We have a lot of issues and NEVER at any given time do you hear him come out. We have been independent for 45 years and WE HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW!!!

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  42. Felow bloggers, do you think Super Ken would have given up on article 4 had the glasnot and perestroika waves not kaken place? I think not. I remember in the 70’s they used to chant for him ‘ KUMULU LESA PANSHI KAUNDA NAMA KWACHA NA MA NGWEE.’ Very diabolic. This could be likened to the Beatles when they said they were more popular than Jesus Christ and of course you know what happened thereafter. No wonder KK wanted his Maharish project to sell the country to the lord of the earth, the devil himself, so he could keep power through the devil.All those sufferings could have had the roots in what our leader was. When the Jews lost the Ark given to them by God they suffered and I am sure that was the way with us.

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  43. #30 Limnothrissa
    You have swallowed the lie of the west that Zambia was a rich nation! Here are the facts. In 1965 per capita GDP for the whole of Africa was $140 and Zambia’s was $225 and RSA $543. We had less than 1000 gradustes, no university, a dual health care and education systems separate for the whites (and few uppity blacks) from the rest. handful of secondary schools in each province. No Air Force to talk about. Indeed, the UK govt had to send a squadron to defend Zambia’s airspace in 1966! In 2007, Zambia’s per cap GDP was $1500! More black Zambians participate in the economy now. Please mwebantu, go to tyhe archives and read your history properly!

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  44. Konse konse, Kaunda, Kumulu, Lesa, Panshi, Kaunda . Everywear(sic) Kaunda.
    One zambia, One nation, One nation , One Leader and that leader Dr kaunda 1996 Vote Yes!

    No further comment…..

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  45. #43 Mavimba
    Read ‘A humanist in Africa’. KK has never been a Christian. So many times people make a meal out of the fact that his father was a missionary, but Pastor David died when KK was just 8 years old! What Christian influence would he have had? KK and Kapwepwe were ardent followers of Mohandra Das (aka Mahatma Gandhi). KK embraced what today is called ‘New Age’ religion. You gotta hand it to him, he is always ahead of his times. The Talk show Queen Oprah Winfrey is like KK. They believe that there are many ways to ‘god’. In the book KK argues, with the Bishop Butler (now in Southwark, London. UK), against original sin and that Jesus is THE way! Bringing the Maharishi to Zambia did not happen in 1990. KK was a follower of syncretism (mix all) religion all along & still is!

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  46. As a person, Kaunda is a good man, but people should not confound issues here. He was and still is an inspiring leader and his leadership qualities are well acknowledged. However, people who have an ‘aura’ of leadership can be dangerous when they are wrong, because the followers entrust, their souls to them! When that happens, the leader must be careful to separate the reality out of the false. Eventually, KK stayed too long and lost the distinction between reality and falsity. Many of his inner circle were in it for their own survival. His strongest hand was anti-tribalism. ‘Bemba phobia’ among non-Bembas kept KK in power for so long!

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  47. Kaunda dissolves party leadership in Zambia OVERSEAS NEWS FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT Lusaka, Aug. 25 1969. President Kaunda tonight announced he was assuming emergency powers to dissolve the central committee of the ruling Zambian United National Independence Party (UNIP). His announcement came shortly -after Vice-President Kapwepwe had said he was resigning both as Vice-President of Zambia and deputy leader of the party. For the time being, President Kaunda said in a television broadcast, be would lead the party not as president but as a secretary general. He was appointing a commission to produce a new constitution which, he hoped, would be more satisfactory than the previous one. He made no reference directly to Mr. Kapwepwe’s resignation. T

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  48. In 2001,KK supported Mazoka,came 2006,the old man was busy jogging to HH’s Kabulonga house and saying,’i like this youngman.Came 2008,the old man was conspicuosly quiet about HH now that his brother in-law Rupiah was standing.During Chiluba,KK condemned MMD,left,right and centre,came Mwanawasa,the old man KK was hitting Mwanawasa till Levy asked,’old man what have i done wrong’…today,KK is the quietest person in Zambia concerning Rupiah’s governance.The HH he supported is still here,what has changed.I’m not saying he can’t support RB but the old man should have been fatherly enough and said,ok,i like RB but HH,the youngman is also got potential.Thats what Mandela did with Zuma and Mbeki,he likes them both and has never taken sides.

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  49. Vice-President Kapwepwe today said he had resigned in what he described as a move to avert bloodshed. Mr. Kapwepwe, aged 47, be- came Vice-President of Zambia in April, 1967, by defeating the previous Vice-President. Mr. Reuben Kamanga, in elections for the deputy leadership of the party. Recently, there has been un-easiness in Lusaka and criticism of the friction between rival tribal factions campaigning for next year’s UNIP elections, Mr. Kapwepwe said he would not stand as a candidate in the next party elections but made it clear that he remained a member of UNIP as well as a member of Parliament and promised to serve President Kaunda in any post to which he was appointed.

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  50. The Vice-President (Kapwepwe), who made his announcement at a press conference, said that since the last party elections some of his colleagues had never recognized his appointment as Vice-President as being constitutional. Mr. Kapwepwe said the northern Zambia Bemba tribes-men, he leads, had suffered physically, including beatings and discrimination in employment, because of suspicions about his appointment as Vice-President. Some Ministers and junior Ministers and officials in the party and Government had at times been rude and abusive to him. There was a need for him to make a courageous decision and “refuse to be part of any bloodshed that might arise “.

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  51. Mr. Kapwepwe denied that the friendship between himself and President Kaunda. had been broken. Asked if he had any message to his strong personal following, he said he strongly believed people should follow the party and not individuals. He thought he should withdraw so that the country could be built up in harmony…Mr. Kapwepwe’s resignation has been expected in Zambian circles for some weeks.. The old image of Mr. Kapwepwe as the radical, indeed near-communist, who was intriguing to supplant the moderate President Kaunda vanished when Mr. Kapwepwe left the Foreign Ministry for the vice- presidency, and it became better understood abroad that Dr. Kaunda and Mr. Kapwepwe were friends as well as old colleagues.

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  52. Ala bane, things were indeed bad!! Who remembers the yellow maize donated to us by the USA in 1982? The sugar tablets we were buying from ZCBC in 1980? The transport blues, the mosi lager that had flotters in it because some ingredient could not be added due to shortage of forex to import it? There was not enough newsprint for our two national dailies in 1979. This was all happening less than 20 years after our political independence. Power got to his head and he made so many mistakes. Health care in govt run institutions was chaotic, but he gets credit for the education system up until Musokotwane introduced the grade 8 afternoon classes in 1984 and promoted teachers from primary school to secondary school without training. In his rein, economic growth averaged 0.2%, pop growth was 3.2%.

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  53. :d/
    Those of us who were there before independence will remember singing : UZA GOGODA CHISEKO, KAUNDA AZAFUNSA, NDANI AGOGODA CHITSEKO, CHOKA KAPILIKONI WOSAMVA.

    AMENE AKANA KUGULA CARD YA UNIP KU UFULU SAZAFIKAKO…….Those were the days when you would want to listen to the voice of Kaunda and shout KAUNDAA E E E SOSA, SOSA, CHALO CHILEKUMFWA.

    You can all say what you like …..those of us who went to school during welesky days and continued up to Kaunda days know what it was like and I say …..HATS OFF TO KAUNDA. There has not been any President in Zambia that has done like him. Look at all the infrastructures, it is Kaunda….. all the roads ……it is Kaunda. HATS OFF TO THE OLD MAN….

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  54. #53
    I remember very well. The yellow maize and the quees. The stinking cooking oil – one had to boil it massively before use. On the school front because of what Musokotwane did in 1984 Form 3 exams were abolished and replaced with grade 9. This may be was as a result of Primary school teachers at the time who also happened to be Form3’s from colonial days.

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  55. # 21, which schools did KK build? KK was just confusing us- zambians- he was too much of himself and he did not want to take zambia on another step- it is only that us zambians are good people- but KK was a very bad man- we lined up for him when he comes to visit- kumingondi, that meat no schools, no nothing- our mothers dancing for him. Please just stop talking about KK. even those free milk we got at school was rubbish. We should have used money for something else.
    GO BACK TO THE LAND KAUNDA

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  56. KK covered up himself as a humanist when he was not. He was an enemy of progress. Kapwepwe did not resign out of good wish. He realised that people were following a traitor (Kaunda) in large numbers blindly. Kapwepwe and Mundia were the true Heroes.KK crooked the Lozis out of their hard earned income from RSA Mines which was used to form BOZ cos Southern Rhodesia neither Britain was ready to form a reserve bank for Zed with their money. When the Lozis ask for their money they are called names, is this human? What about Samazai campaign against Kaondes and Luchazi brothers? Was that human?

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  57. Happy Belated Birthday Super Ken. There are many incidents that we can quote that tell us that KK was a man that loved all people. Obviously as a leader he made mistakes along away but again hindsight is always 20/20. In the 70s there was a brewing problem of shortage of wheat in Zambia. A lorry from SUPA loaf had driven into a compound and the locals had looted the truck of bread. Govt had to move fast and I think RB was foreign Minister. Within few days we had wheat rolling; dont ask me where from, but the nation had bread. As a youngman I met him several times and he always preached fairness.

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  58. KK was was brutal dictator and instilled fear in Zambia. His UNIP youth wing was a terror group. He was a pathetic hypocrite and proud to be referred to as god on earth by his indoctrinated ‘angels’.Like Chiluba he will one day be made accountable for many injustices on Zambians.

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  59. :((:((I cannot let this article pass without my comment. Yes KK was a good man in a way, but I am affraid he committed a big crime by overstaying in power for 27 years which brought stagnation to development of our country. He did not accept that his vision was limited by his knowledge or lack of the knowledge to develop Zambia for the 21st centuary. He clung to power for too long unlike What Madiba Mandela did. One term and he signed himself out. KK behaved like Mugabe is doing. He looks to what KK did and feels comfortable.

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  60. :((:((:((:((Kaunda brought expatriate conditions to Zambia which no other country, in the whole of Africa, has ever done to its people. Slave salaries for Zambians even if they are doing the same job with expatriates. In the mining industry it was really bad and yet KK kept himself smiling with his evil friend JDC who is now languishing in Kalulushi with all the stolen money gone with the wind MMD blew in 1991.:d:d:d:d

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  61. #63 Mbo Sam
    I was just about to leave when I read your comment. No, it is not factual about expat salaries. I do not know how old you are but you need to research this before you generalise as you have done. I deplored the expat salaries but I am not sure whether you are right when you say “no other country, in the whole of Africa, has ever done to its people” because I know it is not true.

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  62. I lived in Zambia most of my life in Mwinilunga and because my father Paul Joseph mannemplavan was writting a book on Dr.Kaunda, he was faulsly accused and eventhough we had perminent residenship we were deported overnight.We were not allowed to take even our personal belongings.I want to come back and get back to my Sailunga farm and visit my Sekejy school.My brothers were born in Zambia.
    prajam Resy Mannemplavan

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  64. This is great! I??ve read a lot of Kim??s post on the Warrior Forum and she??s exceptionally talented. Thanks for these; my mind is already buzzing with post ideas.

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  65. Thank you for this post, I am sure I will come way feeling better as I hope you are today.

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  66. Thank you for this post, I am sure I will come way feeling better as I hope you are today.

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  67. Not like I need anymore ideas for posts (still have too many drafts that are not yet completed), but this is nonetheless and awesome post and a great resource for any blogger.I wish I would have thought of this idea??.Great job.Phil

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  68. Hello Pat,See what blurry vision does for you? I am so sorry for misken your guest blogger for you!Hope you are felling better!

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  69. Nice post, just found your blog on my travels around the Internet. Definitely will come back.

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