Freedom Fighter and Politician Mama Chibesa Kankasa has died.
Chief Government spokesperson Dora Siliya confirmed in a tweet that Mama Kankasa 82 died in South Africa this morning.
Ms. Siliya said Mama Kankasa will be remembered among pioneers of women politics.
Mama Kankasa was evacuated to South Africa for specialised medical treatment two weeks ago after an illness
And according to a statement later released by the Ministry of Information, Zambia, as a nation, will always be appreciative of the role Mrs Kankasa played before and after independence and will be forever indebted to her service.
Mrs Kankasa was born on 23rd March, 1936 and joined politics at a tender age of 19. She married Mr Timothy Kankasa in 1952 and went on to become one of the most known female politicians in Zambia.
Mrs Kankasa was not only a young female freedom fighter when Zambia fought for independence but was a charismatic fighter for the rights of fellow women and children. She dressed elegantly and popularised the Chitenge dress that matched with her characteristic head dress.
As the first female Member of the Central Committee and Chairperson of the Women’s league, Mrs Kankasa offered distinguished service to her party UNIP and was an icon to many young female politicians.
Known to many as Mama Kankasa, she worked with former First Lady Betty Kaunda and Ms Julia Chikamoneka during the freedom struggle and was the first Zambian High Commissioner to Kenya after independence.
As recent as the last elections in 2016, Mrs Kankasa encouraged women to take part in the elections at various levels.
She said women should not leave politics to men, but participate at an equal level with their male counterparts.
Mrs Kankasa died today at 10:30 hours in Avrwyp Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa where she has been receiving treatment after being evacuated there on 6th October, 2018.
Government will announce the dates for repatriation of the remains of the UNIP stalwart and funeral arrangements in due course.