Zambia’s founding father and former president Kenneth Kaunda has died aged 97.
Kaunda was admitted to the Maina Soko Medical Centre on Monday.
He became the first president of independent Zambia, serving from 1964 to 1991.
His office released a terse statement on Monday, saying that he has been unwell and was admitted to… Maina Soko Medical Centre, a military hospital in the capital Lusaka without giving further details.
Initially a popular leader, Kaunda became increasingly autocratic and banned all opposition parties.
He eventually ceded power in the first multi-party elections in 1991, losing to trade unionist Fredrick Chiluba.
While in power, he hosted many of the movements fighting for independence or black equality in other countries around the region, including South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC).
Later in life, he regained stature as one of Africa’s political giants, helping to mediate crises in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
More to follow…