Foreign dignitaries have started arriving in Zambia for the state funeral of the country’s founding father and first president, Kenneth Kaunda, which will be held in Lusaka tomorrow.
The Vice President of Angola, Bornito de Sousa, has arrived in Lusaka to represent his country at the funeral of Dr. Kaunda.
The presidential jet carrying the Angolan Vice President touched down at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) at about 11:22 hours today.
Mr. De Sousa was welcomed at the airport by Deputy Secretary to Cabinet in charge of Finance and Economic Development, Mike Masiye and Angolan Ambassador to Zambia Azevedo Francisco.
The Angolan Vice President will be among several African and world leaders that will attend Dr. Kaunda’s ceremonial state funeral on July 2, at the Showgrounds in Lusaka.
Dr. Kaunda was held in high esteem for supporting the liberation of Africa and accommodating many freedom fighters from the region in their march towards political independence.
He won kudos for his hardline stance against apartheid in South Africa and colonial rule in other countries, especially those laying in the southern African region.
Dr. Kaunda died on June 17, 2021, aged 97 and will be buried next week on July 7 at the presidential burial site at Lusaka’s Embassy Park.
As far back as 1966, huge numbers of Angolans fleeing the war for political independence from Portugal that raged between 1961 and 1975 in their country, started entering the peaceful Zambia, which was ruled by the late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda then.
The end of the 1961 to 1975 political independence in Angola was immediately followed by civil strife in that country, a situation which caused more refugees to seek refuge in Zambia until 2002 when armed conflicts ceased in the neighbouring country.
However, Zambia still hosts many Angolans who opted to be integrated into local communities instead of returning to their country after calm returned in the early 2000s.
We thank our African brothers and sisters for being with us during this very difficult time. We are in so much pain.
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