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Thursday, July 29, 2021

A portrait of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Tapestry of Servitude and Excellence

Headlines A portrait of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Tapestry of Servitude and Excellence

By Hambaba Jimaima (PhD)

Choosing to be born in the debris of the World War 1 and going on to experience the ravaging effects of the World War II far and at home – and would live almost a century – he would be inspired to charter a mantra of unity and a slogan of inclusivity: One Zambia, One Nation – a slogan that in all honesty embodies patriotism, leadership, and love for fellow men. However, he would elect to depart at the pick of the campaign by charlatans, selfish and ill-birthed politicians to mutilate and dismantle the One Zambia, One Nation spirit. I suppose, that too, weighed much on him and broke his heart to his death…

On the menu of his associates, one gets a sense of who Kaunda had purposed to become from an early age: Dr Martin Luther king, Malcolm X – the voice of the Black American liberation struggle; and at home, Nkwame Nkrumah, Julius Mwalimu Nyerere, Nelson Mandela – all bedecked with the sense of duty, purpose and meaning for a continent kept hostage at the colonists’ breast sucking spoiled milk. Thus, true to the word: “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are!” I’m not too sure whether his successors mind about who their associates are today…

Few would deny that Pan-Africanism is synonymous with KK. As chair of the six Frontline States against apartheid, he offered ‘his own back’ as the writing pad; his voice as the ink and pen; his homeland as the oasis and template for its growth; and Zambia’s copper as the fuel to spur it on the rails of progress across the continent. For that, his name forever decorates the hearts of genuine sons and daughters of Africa from Drakensberg mountains through the semi-deserts of Nambia, Botswana and cutting across the Equatorial rainforests to the north, west and east of Africa. With such foundation, no Zambia president today or tomorrow should fail to sustain bilateral ties across the continent. But it calls to be a Kaunda at heart and in deed!

Dr Kenneth Kaunda with Martin Luther King in 1960 when Dr Kaunda visited the US before Zambia got independence
Dr Kenneth Kaunda with Martin Luther King in 1960 when Dr Kaunda visited the US before Zambia got independence

Like all good people, his determination to liberate Africa eclipsed his view of the ramifications of his robust foreign policy on the goings for his domesticity. The failing economy and subsequent protests swamped his gains and dwindled his political fortunes. This too, however undesirable, is an essential piece of history in understanding and celebrating the life of Dr Kaunda today. For it became an important political platform for ushering in of the multiple-party democracy. Despite sensing the prospects of losing to the MMD, he provided electoral space and handed over power peacefully when defeated. That betokens statesmanship! And if there’s anything modern Zambian political history can learn from Dr Kaunda is to be a statesman in the heat of an election and never to attempt to be a president for life…

Finally, while some concede to the fact that Dr Kaunda’s legacy has only been enhanced and made more apparent by the unvoidable sharp contrast with our current lot that celebrates tribalism, exclusivity and grandiose borrowing and corruption, KK set in motion a nation which was self-reliant, having invested in world class infrastructure and bequeathed to the Zambia people free but quality social services – education and health; while his well articulated agricultural policy guaranteed food security.

Perhaps, his significant contribution to the making of Zambia was his deliberate policy of inclusivity, which found expression in his motto: One Zambia, One Nation and made every ethnic group count in the socioeconomic and political life of our great Republic. Therefore, to those in position of power today or tomorrow and, wish to display genuine sense of loss on the death of Dr Kaunda, let the true meaning of One Zambia, One Nation be expressed in word and deed!

May the memory of Dr Kenneth Kaunda inspire us to a higher moral duty, and may his portrait of servitude and excellence instill in us patriotism, compassion and love for all humanity, even Zambians.

Fare thee well Dr Kenneth Kaunda!


  1. The one zambia, one nation motto KK in stalled on Zambians is but a far distant illusion with lungu……..

    We have watched in despair as lungu has tolerated blatant tribal bigotry on air from his senior party and GRZ officials,

    Even the PF FB page is full of tribal attacks

  2. “I’m not too sure whether KK’s successors mind about who their associates are today” Unlike small thinking Lungu ,truly KK walked amongst giants.

  3. I liked KK after he left presidency. When he was president, I only enjoyed the Humanism Week and Independence day (Pa Independence).
    I didn’t like that “chisokone chisokone”, as a scout we beat up old people over “chisokone chisokone “.

  4. Its not Tiyende pamodzi mu mutima umo. Its Tiyende pamodzi ndimutima umo. Some of you are fake Zambians pretending to be real Zambians. Lungu is surrounded by such people

  5. Let us all emulate Dr Kaunda’s choice when it came to friends.

    Some have made Nyerenda Museveni the best friend. Should I explain further?

  6. Yes Dr Kaunda’s close friends were MLK,Jomo Kenyatta,Nkuruma and Nyerere while Lungu’s friends are M7 and Mugabe .

  7. Where were all these people when Kaunda was homeless and penniless?
    Where were all these people when Kaunda was barred from standing for elections and they shouted in parliament ‘Kaunda walala!’
    Where were all these people when Kaunda was shot at and teargassed in Kabwe?
    Where were all these people when Kaunda was stripped of Zambian citizenship and declared stateless?
    Where were all these people when Kaunda was arrested on trumped up charges?
    Some of them are in government now and praising the man they vilified and and made the country to hate in 1991.

  8. Atleast God kept him to see hw only one man thru away the one zambia one nation mantra. From his actions no one doubts that he belivd in it. Bt look at wat u hv. A govt where 99% of top govt jobs ar reserved for certain tribes only..very evident to see..

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