Dr Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda waving his handkerchief
Waving a white handkerchief, octogenarian politician and founding President of Zambia, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda on Sunday evening sang his heart out to the African liberation struggle which he gleefully participated.

He scurried to and from the podium from the high table where his host, President Atta Mills and Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade and officials from the African Union sat. He had accepted the challenge to sing an ode.

Africa was remembering Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the founder of modern Ghana and a strong advocate of her cause.

It was not the hot shouts in 1987 when he was in Ghana to deliver a lecture. Grandpa Kaunda, affectionately called KK sang softly but gallantly as the audience joined in refrain and applause in remembrance of the years spent fighting for the independence of African countries.

With a soft voice, Dr. Kaunda sang “Sons of Africa” and” Rise and Fight”, waving his usual white handkerchief, perhaps symbol of the success of the African struggle, thanking President Mills for honouring and reviving the legacy of Dr. Nkrumah.

The occasion was the launching of the three-day Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Colloquium performed by Ghana’s President Atta Mills, and it formed the final part of the year-long celebration and would also climax on May 25, the African Liberation Day.

Performed at the Accra International Conference Centre, the opening ceremony was prefaced with recorded speeches of the Osagyefo, and went down memory lane with scintillating music reminiscent of the late highlife musician E. T. Mensah.

In a display of conducting skills and antics, the leader of the Winneba Youth Choir paddled and rowed the Choir as the youngsters sang the African Union and Ghana National Anthems, with an addendum from the Ghana Dance Ensemble that “livened” the place with traditional cultural and linguistic performances.

Dr. Kaunda, still physically strong despite his advanced age, advised the youth against HIV/AIDS, a disease which he said had claimed a son, and gave him and his wife five fatherless children to care for.

As the “foremost youth of Africa”, Dr, Kaunda said, Nkrumah would have made the issue very prominent and called for political will and commitment across Africa in addressing HIV/AIDS.

Later at a dinner at the State House, Dr. Kaunda, former Choirmaster at a Church of Central Africa Congregation, again stole the show as he solely went on the floor and did the jig to the admiration of the audience when Ken Carbonu and his band played music calypso style.

It was a day that Mr. Erastus Mwencha called for peace to be given a chance in some parts of the Continent which had been ravaged by civil strife and armed conflicts.

“There should be no quarrels, no conflicts and our prayer is that guns will be silent on that day”, a day when Africans remember a man who gave them a vision to behold.

[GNA]

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38 COMMENTS

  1. KK is highly regarded outside Zambia, yet we Zambians take him for granted even abuse him. He may have misjudged in the past but it was according to the circumstances. One thing he had a heart for was for the nation. I still think he is the best president this country has ever had.

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  2. # One. you are right. I think if we hard to take KK for just one more term things would change for the better in Zambia. Yes he did make some mistakes in the past, but he does have the heart for Zambia and Africa. :d/:d

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  3. This is one true son of Africa. May God give him many more years to live. KK made honest mistakes and not these thieves we have in govt today who spend all their time planning on how best to steal our little resources.

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  4. #1 and #2 … You know well. Lets send the old man back to state house. Zambia will become rich again. He protected home industry and promoted One Zambia One nation.. He shared the nation cake with every Zambian. My education was free from grade1 to 12…. KK for 2011 :((

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  5. limbi ba mudala is reviving his political career, RB is probably warming his seat. Watch the space for UNIP.

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  6. Good Evening

    It’s no wonder that KK’s achievements and his patriotic stance are more appreciated all over the world than in Zambia. Even Christ testified that “…a prophet is without honour in his own country.”

    Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Patrice Lumumba were all assasinated by their own countrymen, who strongly opposed them and tried to discredit their great achievements. It is only when the power of love finally overcomes the love of power, that the world will know who the real revolutionaries and the true pacifists were.

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  7. KK made ‘honest’ mistakes? The fact of the matter is, families and friends of those who were imprisoned on trumped up charges and those that met their deaths mysteriously during KK’s presidency will feel insulted and hurt by the so called honest mistakes.

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  8. KK was a ditator who does not deserve the treatment that his getting from goverment. He had an banned multi-party politics, imprisoned people with who did not agree with him, and had some eliminated. He has blood on his hands and it is my hope and prayer that he will get his final justice from THE LORD ALL MIGHTY. If he had any sence during his rule, he should have given up power for the sake of national progress in the early 80’s just like his friend Julius Nyere of Tanzania. Right now, Tanzania is 1000 years ahead of Zambia in terms of development.

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  9. # 10 Gather your facts right.When were u in TZ? Just came back from TZ a couple of weeks ago.what development are you talking about? In any case who said Democracy is the best form of government? that is the indoctrination by the west! China for example, can you call it democracy? The economy is booming with massive development. Just appreciate wat KK did for zambia period.

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  10. Yes #12 he built bunkers under State House so he could hide while the rest of us fried in nuclear fire from South Africa (read the news). He knew about it, he dug himself a hole, and continued to wave the white handkerchief and be a useless president meanwhile having an escape route to the tunnels behind the map in the office

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  11. #13 kindly educate me. which serious nation does not have security plans in place for the protection of it’s commander in chief, usually the head of state ,to be protected in the event of a foreign or alien attack? in war , the whole game is to protect your king !!

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  12. Iwe #10, ukwateko amano, Ba KK balibomba inchito iikalamba apo ufikile iwe waishiba ukulemba, ukubelenga ni ba KK ebalengele, english starting from nursery to secondary, tanzania english bambila mu grade 4, ngawali fyelwe kutanzania na nomba ngatawaishiba ne chisungu, ubupuba ubo, where the Big Man left was suppose to be done by kabwalala chiluba.

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  13. Can’t blame KK for our misfortunes, he did his best according to his strength and ability. It’s just sad that he could not see when his time was up. He could have been a wonderful mentor for a forward looking second president.

    Compared to where we are now, I’d say most people would rather have super Ken at plot 1. Never mind his dictatorship – yaba, we had a tough time, bane. No apples, no butter, no latest whatever – he kept us mubu tutu for a while there. Anyway, all the best KK, ule tola nobwa pona.**==

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  14. #14 usually in a “serious nation” the people are aware of the risks. unlike in zambia where KK was waging some kind of personal war for which he needed personal nuclear bunkers. the man is not OK in the brains

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  15. Well, people have different ways of looking at issues and for sure each one of them is right in their own way. I am hoping whoever reads this will not run into criticizing me. I think Dr. Kenneth Kaunda is a great leader and an intelligent politician. I say so basing my view of the man’s accomplishments (too many to count). He got us from the White man’s rule and it was not easy to lead a political Party then as it might be today. Today anyone can wish to be president of Zambia because thorns have been removed from the path. Dr. Kaunda Sir, thankyou for all you have done for mother Zambia, Given a chance to be in your position, all your critics would do worse.

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  16. Well, people have different ways of looking at issues and for sure each one of them is right in their own way. I am hoping whoever reads this will not run into criticizing me. I think Dr. Kenneth Kaunda is a great leader and an intelligent politician. I say so basing my view on the man’s past accomplishments (too many to count). He got us from the White man’s rule and it was not easy to lead a political Party then as it might be today. Today anyone can wish to be president of Zambia because thorns have been removed from the path. Dr. Kaunda Sir, thankyou for all you have done for mother Zambia, Given a chance to be in your position, all your critics would do worse.

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  17. To all the people of Zambia home and abroard, WE NEED DR. KENNETH KAUNDA TO BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. I KNOW HIS AGE IS A FACTOR, BUT HE’S MORE WISER THAN CHI R. BANDA.

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  18. #11 & #15 Understand that KK was not a democrat that he claimed he was. Call a spade a spade. The chap was a dictator. He had no capacity to take Zambia forward on the economic front. Instead, he aided the crisis that we find our selves in. Its a shame that most of you are very short sighted. On the comparison drwan with Tanzania, you will be sad to learn the Zambia’s GDP purchasing power parity is currently 17 billion whereas Tanzania’s is 19 billion; and average growth is 7.1% for Tanzania whereas Zambia is 4.3%. Simple economic indicators that will assist you understand my point

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  19. kk was power hungry and mismanaged a great economy, turning a once self sufficient economy into one of the poorest in africa. we got rid of him and respect him as a past leader but zambian’s as this page suggests have amnesia and so don’t learn from history. look at botswana as a complete opposite – a once considered barren economy that has invested it’s diamond wealth in it’s people.

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  20. I am inclined to agree with “comrades” in support of KK.

    Despite his “dictatorial” one party state of 27 years, he has achieved more for the country than the political “comedians” of today.

    KK is one of the greatesr freedom fighters of Africa. He not only fought for our political and economic freedom, but that of the neighboring countries as well.

    Despite calling his critics “stupid *****s” for 27 years , this “insult” has not caused more political harm than the “mambala” and “puppy” language of today!

    At one time he told us that sometimes one needs to be cruel in order to be kind !

    He had the love of his country at heart. That is why some of us from families of humble incomes, managed to be educated up to university level and hold seniour positions in…

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  21. I am inclined to agree with “comrades” in support of KK.

    Despite calling his critics “stupid *****s” for 27 years , this “insult” did not cause any political damage that the “mambala” and “puppy” language of today.

    He had the love of his country at heart. That is why some of us from families of humble incomes, were able to be educated up to university level and hold senior positions in our society!

    KK was a frank person, who called a spade a spade. He would not, for example, allow “scare crows” to be in his cabinet.

    Long live KK !

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  22. Please I beg advise me if I am missing somthing. 46 years after independence , dilapidated roads, no medicine in hospitals, not enough schools, no modern stadium, load shedding , still begging for loans, etc and this man KK ruled for 27 years and you want him back. Get real people!!

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  23. 1992,; KK left these structures you are talking about;
    2010, that is 18 years later, these same structures are dilapidated
    educate me, how has this man presided over the dilapidation?

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  24. There is time for everything.KK had his time to do good for Zambia and make his mistakes.Let us learn from the good things did and do them better .For all the wrong things he did, that is a guide that we don’t repeat them.But to bring him back in politics that will be one of the blander of the world.why did he take us to school citizen chiefs?

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  25. Come on #20, you are now losing it all. I thought it was just yesterday that you were advocating for youths to take over the reigns of Govt? Why are you in reverse gear now when everybody else is driving forward? Admittedly KK was a good leader at that time and he met his challenges head-on in defence of his nation-Zambia. The dynamics of today are completely different from the dynamics of yester year. Let KK enjoy his retirement. I wish batata ba Chiluba could learn from KK how to live in peace with your ‘neigbours’. Ati ‘Developmental Meeting’; yee tata!

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  26. I think most of us see him from afar. Those that were closer felt the sharp edge of the sword that he held pointed at any Zambian with a little bit of enlightment about the way forward for Z. Sometimes we should learn to critically look at both sides of the coin and see things for what they really are. KK was the right person at the begining of the struggle for independence but ended up with too much power as president. Up to now we are trying to come to terms with these presidential powers. In My view his long days are not a blessing but kind of a way to show him that Things can be done differently without oppression.

    On the Africa freedom day celebration, Sudan one of the first spearheaders of this day is today in turmoil and no one seems to care to remember.

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  27. Where is the zeal in africa’s leadership for a free and United Africa, other than on binders and library shelves with at least11 African countries going through one conflict of some sort in the last decade. Be it political, economical or social. In Burundi they simply choose not to celebrate this day and work normaly as there is nothing to show for it.

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  28. KK was simply a great leader. he had vision, care for the nation and looked at education as a missing link in Zambia’s quest for development. Let us give credit where it is due. KK told us all that multi-party democracy in a country with high levels of poverty would not help the nation but create squabbles. What are you seeing today? Squabbling polticians not focussed on any aspects of development but self-preservation. Some of us are in the diaspora not by choice but we could NOT stand the iidiocy of Kafupi’s leadersgip – very childish and petty in all areas.

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  29. No mention of “Pan-Africanism” in this article. What a shame! As for KK, we cvan’t compare him to evil kafupi or dull RB. But to come back to power? No. Let a younger man or woman take over. Otherwise, KK, u sebelize, mwan’esu. You alomost got rid of tribalism, which Kafupi and Sata reinstated. Shemuna!

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  30. KK was good and bad at the same time. We can chose to remember either or both. I chose to remember the good that he did. During the time of democracy, twali abatutu we didnt fully undersatand it. We were attacking each other violently, burning other party members houses etc. That did not help our unification. We had to stop and learn. Learn we did at great cost. KK liberated us. He unified us and liberated other countries at great cost to us. I am happy though because what he did was better. Who knows…one of those mukukulus could have killed my parents and ended this progression. Long live KK. OK dont come back to government.

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  31. Kwame loved Africa, and so did KK and Nyerere. KK loved Zambia, too, while Kafupi found a gold mine in our pockets. The man ought to be chained.

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  32. “Among the blind, one eyed man is a king.” Comparatively KK is the best leader Zambia can boast of. Frankly speaking, he is a good revolutionary and a very charismatic leader. As for love of country and partriotism, he initially had a little. But when the love for power got into his head, he threw the genuine love out thru the window – to the peril of the nation.

    At independence Zambia’s GDP was much higher than even India’s and many countries. However in 1968, when the UNIPISTS wanted to establish the One party state, the tactics they used to destroy the enemy are still haunting Zambia today: The “It pays to belong to Unip” campaign put party love above country – allegiance to UNIP and not professionalism took centre stage. This greatly affected the Zambianisation programme…

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  33. # 35 cont- This greatly affected the Zambianisation programme. Instead stone throwers and slogan shouters where rewarded with huge potifolio when ZCCM, Zimco, Mindeco and the like where established. Kaunda wanted to protect his seat at all cost by using the vigilantes and Ops. You couldn’t even buy from the market without a party card. From 1975 it was downwards for mother Zed and KK did not care.

    Had he (KK) had the genuine love for country, Zed could ve come out better despite Rhodesia’s UDI and the Apartheid in SA. KK shud ve genuinely galvanised Zambians behind him during the UDI period and we wud ve still come out economically strong. I rest my case.

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  34. That Super Ken “loved” the nation. How do the proponents of this theory define or support it? I might be brought to terms in a few ways, than most.
    Our population nearly doubled in his tenure to the somewhere in the vicinity of the current proportions. He presided over that doubling- and his incompetent and non-strategic planning therein discovers itself. Am not decrying the population growth, but his incapacities.
    He did not relinquish power- he was kicked out. Infrastructure at his departure was still as in its infancy- inherited from colonial planners. A classic example- he has always decried the 73 Arab boycott as the genesis of the economic woes that precipitated all miseries beyond his control till he lost power in 91- he could have learned gleaned a lot of practical lessons…

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  35. there from- for instance that the country needs a strategic petroleum reserve, as others did, lest we be held indefinitely captive to the whims of the repeats of 73, which just this week we still see affect us- without let. He just lacked that acumen to plan and implement. While population doubled, education levels, in-spite of literacy, continued to deteriorate- because infrastructure was either never improved or developed. And most of the social-economic problems we face today stem directly from that- housing included.
    Others can improve, or write this down, but what irks me above other items- he kept the country in perpetuity under his direct rule- with the result that the concept of the rule of law never took root in the population. But for space..adieu.

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