President Edgar Lungu has called on political players to emulate the late First President Kenneth Kaunda in upholding peace and unity especially ahead of the polls this year.
President Lungu recalled how late President Kenneth Kaunda joked about how the presidential position was challenging but that his leadership was inspiring and worth emulating.
Speaking in an interview at Dr. Kaunda’s funeral house, President Lungu said that it was a turning point for the country especially when various political players are competing for political leadership ahead of the 2021 general elections.
The Head of State urged political parties to reflect on the legacy and learn from the late President while sourcing for support from the Zambians.
In an effort to bring the best in the country, President Lungu indicated that politicians need to turn to God for guidance and move in the right direction.
He added that the only way to mourn Dr. Kaunda was to emulate him by picking a few things from his leadership and life.
“There are no exact words that can describe this man because he meant so many things to many of us, but for the majority of Zambians he meant a unit of love and peace in the country. So those of us that aspire to lead the country, let us emulate him,” President Lungu indicated.
He urged the nation to mourn the late President within the confines of adhering to the COVID-19 regulations, stating that the country has continued to record increased cases and deaths due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Democratic Party Presidential candidate Harry Kalaba noted that Dr. Kaunda as father of the nation left a legacy to build on.
Mr. Kalaba said that it was critical for Zambians to live by the one Zambia one nation motto which the late President initiated hence mourning him should bring people together regardless of their political affiliation.
“Dr. Kaunda knew no political parties that he belonged to and therefore in a period like this, what should bring us together is the love that he had for humanity.
He noted that the country continues to enjoy the peace and tranquility that Dr. Kaunda had for the country to safeguard what he preached.
He explained that Zambia is one of the eight countries in Africa that has never experienced a civil strife as a result of Dr. Kaunda’s message of love and goodwill.
And The African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) says it has learned with great sadness, the news of the passing of Kenneth Kaunda, the founding president of the republic of Zambia.
ANC has since described Dr. Kaunda’s death as a sad moment for South Africa and Africa as a whole.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe, said the late Dr. Kaunda is a giant of the liberation struggle of South Africa who held a special place in the hearts of the movement, the country and the South African people.
Mr. Mabe said the gesture by Dr. Kaunda to open up Zambia as a home and headquarters of the ANC for over 30 years, was a demonstration of his belief that Zambia would not be free until sister countries on the continent that were still under colonial oppression were also free.
He added that the story of the liberation of Southern Africa would be incomplete without full acknowledgement of the central role played by Zambia and late president Kaunda.
Mr. Mabe noted that Zambia’s hosting of the ANC and other liberation movements including, FRELIMO of Mozambique, MPLA of Angola, ZAPU, ZANU of Zimbabwe and SWAPO of Namibia to conduct their struggles against colonialism and apartheid, came at a huge price for Zambia as the country’s economy was sabotaged, with clear intent of discouraging the Zambians from supporting the liberation movements.
“Dr. Kaunda was a great friend of our President Oliver Tambo with whom he worked to advance the struggle for freedom, at the ANC’s first national conference inside the country in 1991 and President Tambo related his gratitude to President Kaunda for his support when he suffered a stroke,” he said.
He further described the late Dr. Kaunda as a great internationalist, supporter and chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1970-1973.
Mr. Mabe noted KK, as he was fondly known, had run his race and fought a good fight hence will be remembered for his humility, humanism, kindness, dedication to peace, the fight against HIV and AIDS and recently his dedication to the fight against the Covid-19.
“Dr. Kenneth Kaunda is the pride of the African continent, like his peers Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Agostinho Neto, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and a many others, their selflessness must inspire us to continue the struggle for an Africa that is free of landlessness, poverty and human suffering,” he said.
He has since extended the ANC’s deepest condolences to the Kaunda family, the Zambian government and all the people of Zambia.
Meanwhile, the death of Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda leaves an indelible mark on the history of the country and the growth of the labour movement in Zambia, Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Secretary General has said.
Mr. Cosmas Mukuka said the union learnt of Dr. Kaunda’s passing with deep sorrow and regret.
Mr. Mukuka said Dr. Kaunda contributed immensely to the establishment of a strong ZCTU through an Act of Parliament, appointment of the executive board for the organization and donating the organization’s first vehicle for ease of mobilization activities.
He noted that it was during the reign of Dr. Kaunda and his desire for a strong labour movement that ZCTU grew into a strong crusade as his government organised members into unions, thereby enabling to turn ZCTU into a strong and effective organization of influence and impact.
“Through government intervention, the ZCTU constitution demanded for one union, one industry and workers automatically became union members immediately they joined an institution as an employee,” he said.
He further said Dr. Kaunda, who through his untiring efforts tried to unite the country, will be remembered as father of the nation by all Zambians, sought to unite the country under the ‘One Zambia; One Nation’ motto.
Mr. Mukuka added that the movement would also remember Dr. Kaunda as a dedicated pan-Africanist and a political hero who played a crucial role in the liberation of southern African countries and ending colonial rule in Africa.