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Kaunda’s funeral under way in Lusaka

Article by: Dumisane Dube

The funeral of the late Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda has begun in Lusaka.

Fondly known as KK, the 97 year old former statesman died last month from pneumonia at a military hospital in Lusaka.

The funeral is held in Lusaka’s main showground and is attended by high profile individuals and head of states including South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zambia had previously declared a 21 days of mourning for the liberation hero who ruled from 1964, after the southern African nation gained independence from Britain, until 1991.

Kaunda was born on April 28, 1924, the youngest of eight children of a Church of Scotland minister at Lubwa mission in the remote north of the country.

After leading Zambia for 27 years, a faltering economy made his stay unpopular sparking food riots in the late 1980’s.

In 1991, he was forced to hold the first multi-party elections after 23 years, which he lost to long-time foe and trade unionist Frederick Chiluba.

In his twilight years, Kaunda led a quiet life, mostly staying at home and only occasionally appearing at state functions.

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