Saturday, June 15, 2024

Government proposes to bury KK at Embassy Park and later exhume body and rebury at State Lodge in compromise move to honour his wish

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The family of the late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda says it is being forced to accept government’s decision to bury Dr Kaunda at a Embassy Park against his wishes.

Dr Kaunda had wanted to be buried at State Lodge next to his wife, Betty.

However, sources close to the family have revealed that government is insisting on burying Dr Kaunda at Embassy next Wednesday.

They then want to exhume his body at a later date for a reburial to comply with his wishes.

Dr. Kaunda’s grandchildren, writing on behalf of the family, have pleaded with President Edgar Lungu to reconsider the decision to bury the beloved statesman at Embassy Park.

The letter, dated June 23 2021, reads: “We, the undersigned, representing the collective view of the family, have taken into consideration the proposal to exhume Dr Kaunda’s remains from Embassy Park after the burial to be relocated at his residence as a compromise to the family’s request.

“However, we find this proposal unnecessary as our gallant first president needs to rest in peace at his final resting place.”

“We therefore humbly request the government reconsiders its decision to bury him at Embassy Park and honour what was his only final wish, to be buried next to his dear wife at his residence.”

One of Dr. Kaunda’s sons, Kaweche, confirmed knowledge of the request, saying Dr. Kaunda’s grandchildren were requesting that President Lungu intervenes.

“They are requesting the president to honour his wish because the site which is being prepared is not his wish. His wish was to be put next to our mother.

“Speaking for myself, I would love them to honour his wish. This is something he said time and time again,” said Kaweche.

He said the family would seek a proper and satisfying reason for not honouring Dr. Kaunda’s wishes if the government goes ahead with its preferred burial site.

“We understand our father was a larger than life figure so if they give us a good reason and explain to us properly, we will understand,” he said.

Writing on behalf of the family on June 21, Dr. Kaunda’s eldest son, Panji, expressed gratitude to the state and Lungu for according Kaunda a state funeral.

He, too, urged the government to reconsider its preferred burial site.

“Following our discussion between the family and the state representatives, it was agreed that we, as the family, would provide guidance to the state regarding his burial wishes,” reads his letter.

“Therefore, the undersigned, children and grandchildren, sat to consider government’s proposal to bury him at Embassy Park and feel grateful, but the family requests, with great humility, that the state considers his wish.

“We propose the first president be accorded his last wish to be buried next to his wife, the late Mama Betty Mutinkhe Kaunda, on his farm,” wrote the retired army lieutenant-colonel who is the family’s representative in the talks, according to a family source.

The insiders have claimed it was in response to this request that the government proposed as a compromise burying Dr. Kaunda at the national monument and to exhume his body at a later date.

“The government came back in a confidential letter and said they would like to bury him at Embassy Park. They cited it is a dedicated national monument and they were more or less claiming they are controlled by law, but I think that is not the case,” said a source.

“The exhumation doesn’t sit well with us. There are one or two senior family members who are okay with it. But the old man preferred a burial site next to his wife. He was very clear about it and I think government is fully aware of it.

“Even if you want to let it go, he told everybody he wanted to lay next to his wife and no-one told him ‘you can’t’ when he was alive,” said the source.

The Zambian government could not be reached for comment.

Dr. Kaunda’s funeral is set for today and his burial for next Wednesday.

31 COMMENTS

  1. The founding father of this nation needs to sleep at Embassy Park. If anything, Embassy Park should have been reserved for him alone with Madam Betty. I wish his Mausoleum had a provision for Madam Betty to be brought close. KK is State Property – the family also needs to understand. Part of the sacrifice of the KK family is to share KK with Zambia and the international community – in life and death.

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    • True those of you who have opted for the Presidency should always know your personal wishes are no longer prevailing. Its the state that decides where to bury you asyou are public property. You cant choose some farm in Ndola Rural as your resting place. Tourists need to easily find you.

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  2. I dont think KK approved those grandiose monolithic expenses at embassy Park while 70 % of Zambians are poor…..

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  3. We are currently in communication with the familys legal representative and so cannot comment on this issue until further noticem

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  4. @ Advisor, let the man rest. It was KK’s wish to be buried at State Lodge next to Betty so do him the honor and respect his request. Simple. The State as you say can easily build a public memorial or whatever it likes at Embassy Park. Also simple.

    Frankly, the idea of burying him at EP first only to exhume the body for a second burial of his choosing is at best ridiculous (at worst, disgusting). Just let the man rest!

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  5. When Late President was buried at Embassy Park, was a temporal setup! Now because everything is haphazard it has become a permanent burial site for Presidents! It is not an ideal place for a Memorial Site. Ian in incredulity how Panji has failed to honour his father’s wish. He is a big disappoiuteallly!

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  6. Take him to his Shambalakale farm in Chinsali. For the sake of fostering peace bury him next to Kapwepwe.

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  7. Ridiculous ‘compromise’ by the govt. Let his wishes be respected. You can build a monument somewhere if you wish, as someone suggests, but the body belongs to the family. Leave it alone and show respect instead of moving it here and there. So what if he is not buried at Embassy Park? No need to behave so ‘officious’ or so-called patriotic over a body that is not yours.

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  8. WHO HAS EVER HEARD OF SUCH ??
    DISGUSTING SHOCKING AND UNCARING
    IF YOU CANT SEE ITS TIME UP FOR PF THEN THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG
    NO MATTER HOW BIG THE BROWN ENVELOPE MORALS SHOULD OVER RIDE IT
    THIS IS PURE AND SIMPLY A BUDDING DIK*TAT*OR SHIP

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  9. To force KK into the ground where he did not wish to go would be nothing short of contemptuous – a shameful desecration of his name and legacy to Zambia.

    This “listening government” has already carted him around the country against expressed wishes. Have some respect for the man. There has been ample time (years!) to plan funeral arrangements and yet they claim now to be in negotiations. Infuriating and classless – history is watching!

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  10. Please bury Kaunda next to Betty. Kaunda cannot lie near to rifraf like Chiluba who disrespected him so much. Ba Lungu use your brain

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  11. Edgar China Lungu has already decided against KK’s own wishes as well as the family. And now extra misery with the exhumation. I hope YOUR miserable body will be trampled on when the time comes, horrible thieving president!

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  12. HO HAS EVER HEARD OF SUCH ??
    DISGUSTING SHOCKING AND UNCARING
    IF YOU CANT SEE ITS TIME UP FOR PF THEN THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG
    NO MATTER HOW BIG THE BROWN ENVELOPE MORALS SHOULD OVER RIDE IT

  13. Our beloved KK knew about Embassy Park, but it was in his heart to be buried next to Mama Betty Kaunda. Respecting his choice of burial would be excellent. If the Government want it can build a memorial park for KK and Betty at State Lodge. That can add more sites where tourists can visit.

  14. PF SHOWS NO RESPECT FOR ANYONE
    LET ALONE THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA
    I SEE LUNGU MENTIONED ALL THE TIME AND RIGHLY SO
    BUT ASK YOURSELF IS HE REALLY INCHARGE ???
    AND BEING TOLD YOU WILL DO THIS AND YOU WILL DO THAT BY A FORCES STONGER WITHIN THE DEVIDED PF
    YOU TELL ME ???

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  15. It’s important that people are conscious of what they’re doing. KK, just like any other Zambian President isn’t the property of his family. KK knew that it’s now Law for Zambian Presidents to be buried at their designated site. Did he put it in his Will that he desired to be buried elsewhere? If he didn’t then those who want him buried at his house are speaking for themselves and not KK. GRZ can’t trespass on private property, so who’ll be responsible for the gravesite? Let the family seek a court order so that it becomes legally binding on them, that way they would not blame GRZ in future if that place is neglected

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  16. Imwe just donor his wish. Why misango so? You want to reduce KK to your level? KK is on another level.

  17. Ni buloi bwasona singe Kaunda, imagine exhuming his body lady only to find that it’s missing!

  18. PF government please respect KK ‘s wish. You have used KK enough for your campign. Isoni e buntu

  19. The parading of the coffin is macabre enough as it is. This new suggestion just adds morbid to the macabre. Again, and for the third time now I ask: What is the point?

  20. The people of Zambia propose that you respect the wish of the old man to be reunited with his sweetheart. You can put a plague at Embassy park to say this place was too small for this giant of a man chapwa. Please honour his wish and no one will ever question this because his work was unique to us all. Embassy park is like burying a Chief with his subjects, twakana. Kaunda was a chief of all chiefs and yes I will say it, president of all Zambian presidents today.

  21. No one knows if you die you reunite with your family members who have died before you, it never happens so i wonder all the drama about burial site if the burial site for former presidents is embassy park so be it.

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