TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 marks the 96th birthday of the first President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Kenneth Buchizya David Kaunda.
The African National Congress joins the people of Zambia and the African continent as a whole in wishing this outstanding statesman, freedom fighter and humanist, President Kaunda, a very happy 96th birthday!
President Kaunda holds a special place in the hearts of our movement, our country and her people. He opened up Zambia and made it the home and headquarters of the ANC for over 30 years.
This was a demonstration of President Kaunda’s belief that Zambia would not be free until sister countries in the continent that were still under the yoke of colonial oppression were free.
He was a great friend of our President Oliver Tambo and became a loyal friend of the people of South Africa during our hour of need.
President Kaunda maintained support for the ANC and other liberation movements despite the policy of the apartheid regime which was aimed at the destabilisation of governments in the region. The people of Zambia suffered immensely economically and socially due to President Kaunda’s unwavering support of our country and other countries in the region that were fighting racism and colonial oppression.
KK is part of a generation of illustrious leaders in Africa who dedicated their lives to the liberation of their countries and peoples.
In 1963 when he became president of the Pan-African Freedom movement for East, Central and Southern Africa, he used this position to advance freedom in the region.
He extended his influence to the global level after Zambia’s independence, serving as chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity from 1970 to 1971 and from 1987 to 1988.
The selflessness of President Kaunda and his peers such as our own President Nelson Mandela, President Oliver Tambo and others must inspire us to continue the struggle for an Africa that is free of landlessness, poverty, disease and human suffering.
As we fight the invisible enemy that is the vicious novel coronavirus, we draw inspiration from President Kaunda and his peers. We will soldier on and ensure that the freedom they fought for does not disappear in the face of this public health emergency.
President Kaunda was honoured with the National Order of the Companions of OR Tambo by the South African government, the highest honour awarded to international friends of our country who displayed great solidarity during our struggle for liberation.
Happy Birthday President KK. You remain an inspiration to the people of South Africa. We are truly grateful for the gift of your life!
We wish you good health, a long life and success in every endeavour in your retirement.
Let’s honour President KK by adhering to precautions as we fight the deadly coronavirus and by continuing to #StayAtHome
Protect yourself. Defend each other: Let’s do it together.
The African National Congoress,