By our reporter
Leaders across Africa have been expressing their sadness and sending their condolences and sympathies to the family of Kaunda, and the people of Zambia in general, many describing him as one of the greatest African independence heroes and exemplary Pan-Africanist.
The former Zambian president, who was 97, died Thursday, June 17, at a military hospital in Lusaka, where he was being treated for pneumonia.
Edgar Lungu, the president of Zambia, Edgar Lungu, Friday signed a condolence book as the country entered Day II of 21 days of national mourning in honour of the life of Zambia’s founding president.
“Dear KK, I learnt of your passing with great sadness. You have gone at a time we least expected but we are comforted that you are now with Our Father, God Almighty in heaven. I pray that the Kaunda family is comforted as we mourn a true African icon,” he said.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson, African Union Commission,
It is with an indescribable sense of loss that I learnt of the passing of H.E. Kenneth Kaunda, first president of the Republic of Zambia and one of the Founding Fathers of the Organization of African Unity. My deepest condolences to his family, the people and Government of Zambia.
Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, United Kingdom,
Saddened to learn of the death of Kenneth Kaunda. We send our deepest condolences and our thoughts are with the people of Zambia at this difficult time.
Ram Nath Kovind, President, India,
Saddened to hear about the demise of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, first President and founding father of modern Zambia. I was privileged to meet him in 2018. A towering Pan-African leader and a committed Gandhian, his contribution will never go dim. Deepest condolences to the people of Zambia.
Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
A great sadness to hear of the passing of Zambia’s former President Kenneth Kaunda, who stood up for his nation at a critical moment of its independence. His dedication to empowering the people of Zambia will continue to inspire Africa and the world.
Paul Kagame, President, Rwanda
My heartfelt condolences to the family of President Kenneth Kaunda and the people of Zambia. His commitment to Africa’s liberation will never be forgotten. His leadership on the continent and legacy of Pan-Africanism will live on for generations to come.
Samia Suluhu, President, Tanzania
I’m deeply saddened by the passing on of the First President of Zambia, H.E Kenneth Kaunda. Africa has lost a liberation fighter, patriot and true Pan-Africanist. My condolences to President Edgar Lungu, the bereaved family and all Zambians. May his soul rest in peace! Amen.
Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa
On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Kaunda Family and the government and people of the Republic of Zambia.
Hage Gottfried Geingob, President, Namibia
Africa has lost a giant of a man. Kenneth Kaunda, ‘KK’ as we affectionately called him was generous, affable, (and) above all resolute to free our region from colonialism. We lost KK but Africans and Namibians are eternally grateful for his stellar contributions to freedom. R.I.P KK.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President, Uganda
I have learnt with shock of the death of our elder, Mzee Kenneth Kaunda. Although God has blessed him with many years of life, departing at 97 years, since his brain was still sharp, we could have had more years of his wisdom….I salute his contribution and I salute his memory. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Uhuru Kenyatta, President, Kenya
On behalf of the Government and the People of Kenya and on my own behalf, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Government and People of Zambia on the demise of former President Kenneth Kaunda.
Former President Kaunda was a great leader full of wisdom who remained actively engaged in promoting the interests of the African continent for many years after leaving office. We will always remember and cherish his huge contribution to the welfare of the people of Zambia and Africa as a whole.
Gen Évariste Ndayishimiye, President, Burundi
It’s with great sadness that I learned of the passing away of H.E. Kenneth Kaunda, the former President of Zambia. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to President Edgar Lungu, to the grieving family, and to the People of Zambia. May his soul rest in peace.
Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President, Botswana
I have learnt of the demise of Dr. Kenneth Kaunda the founding father of the Republic of Zambia, a great statesman, and African leader.