BOTSWANA: Botswana and South African Presidents have declared a mourning period of the Zambian founding father Kenneth Kaunda who died on Thursday.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana set apart 7 days while South Africa declared 10 mourning days where flags shall fly half-mast following the death of Zambian former President Kenneth Kaunda who died on Thursday.
Kaunda died few days after he was rushed for pneumonia treatment at Maina Soko Medical Centre, a military hospital in the country’s capital Lusaka.
He died at the age of 97.
President Masisi’s Note
On his Facebook page, President Masisi wrote: “In honour of this great son of the soil, l have declared a seven day mourning period in Botswana during which all flags shall fly at half-mast.
“Dr Kaunda was Botswana’s best friend and together with the likes of Sir Seretse Khama and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere championed the liberation and independence of our region”, he said.
Dr Kaunda is popularly known for his unwavering support in the SADC region and the African continent at large during liberation struggles against the colonial regime.
He was the first Zambian black president from 1964 when the country attained its independence from Britain until 1991 when he lost the election.
President Masisi described the death of Dr Kaunda as a loss to his compatriots, and the continent.
President Cyril Ramaphosa Mourns
Similarly, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also declared a ten-day mourning period.
He described the late Kaunda as the revered father of “African Independence and unity”.
“Kenneth Kaunda was a pioneering champion of a decolonised Africa, a united and prosperous Africa.
“Today we recommit ourselves to building KK’s vision – an Africa of peace, justice, prosperity and innovation”, said President Ramaphosa.