President Edgar Lungu has declared April 28, the birth date of the late first Republican President, Kenneth Kaunda, a public holiday in his honour.
During Dr. Kaunda’s state funeral service and burial ceremony service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka today, President Lungu described the late Dr Kaunda as an epitome of selfless service and patriotism.
The Head of State said Dr. Kaunda strongly believed in hard work and discipline.
“Dr. Kaunda was indeed a true champion of love and unity. I can only urge each and every one of us to emulate his character and good works,” President Lungu said.
And the Head of State said the country will always uphold the motto of One Zambia One Nation in everything.
“This motto should be an embodiment of who we are as a people of this great nation,” he said.
The President added, ” We are a united people despite our many tribes, dialect and heritage and nothing and nobody should divide us and that is where we are going from now and forever to honour Dr. Kaunda’s legacy.”
President Lungu also called on Zambians to remain patriotic and embrace love.
“We should all love our country Zambia, despising the country is not patriotism. Patriotism means speaking well of the country and by doing so, we will make Zambia a better nation,” President Lungu said.
ZANIS reports that the Head of State emphasized that the life of the late Dr. Kaunda will always be part of the country’s history.
President Lungu also urged the family and the nation to continue living in peace and harmony and upholding the legacy of the late president.
And United Nation Independence Party (UNIP) President Trevor Mwamba described late Dr. Kaunda as a great statesman of the country.
Bishop Mwamba said the country’s founding father was a man of good moral force and a peace maker.
He added that by being a passionate Pan Africanist, Zambia’s first Republican President supported the liberation movement of countries in the African region.
Bishop Mwamba stated that Dr. Kaunda revealed himself as a selfless leader who was concerned with the wellbeing of the Zambian people.
“The late Dr. Kenneth Kaunda saw us as God’s children irrespective of religion, gender and colour. This is what made him a great soul,” he said.
Meanwhile, United Church of Zambia (ECZ) Synod Bishop, Bishop Reverend Sydney Sichilima said during the homily that the late Dr. Kaunda has gone a hero.
Bishop Sichilima noted that the first Republican President contributed a lot to the wellbeing of not only Zambia but also the African region and beyond.
“If we continue to fear and love God like the late Dr. Kaunda did, the country will never experience crime or violence. People will continue to love one another as a legacy left by Dr. Kaunda,” Bishop Sichilima stated.
The UCZ Synod Bishop added that the late president touched a lot of lives through the sacrifices he made as he fought for peace and unity for the nation.
Meanwhile Dr. Kaunda’s first born son Panji Kaunda said that today is not a day to mourn but to celebrate the life of his late father with laughter and peace.
Retired Colonel Kaunda said his father was a symbol of peace hence the reason why the nation has not reported any acts of violence since his demise.
“Since he died, there has been less violence, people have calmed down, and they are at peace. From now onwards, we move together as one Zambia one Nation,” he said.
Rtd. Col. Kaunda also urged all political party leaders to counsel their supporters against violence and encourage them to embrace peace and unity.
He further assured the Head of State and the nation that his family is mourning as one and remains united adding that there are no divisions among them.
Former Mozambiquan President Joakim Chisano, Zambia’s Fourth Republican President Rupiah Banda, former Vice President Guy Scott, senior government officials, freedom fighters and leaders of the opposition parties were among other dignitaries that attended the ceremony.
Dr. Kaunda died on June 17, 2021 at Maina Soko Medical Centre after an illness.
He leaves behind 9 children, forty grandchildren and twenty nine great grandchildren.