By Paidashe Mandivengerei
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared three days of national mourning in memory of the late Zambian founding president, Kenneth Kaunda starting today (Friday) until Sunday.
This comes after Zambian president, Edgar Lungu also declared a 21-day mourning period in the neighbouring country.
Kaunda died Thursday at Maina Soko Medical Centre, Lusaka where he was receiving medical treatment for pneumonia.
He was aged 97.
In a statement, Mnangagwa said during the period all national flags must fly at half-mast.
“Following the demise of our (SADC) region’s last surviving Elder Statesman, leader of the Frontline States in the struggle against colonialism, and founding President of the Sister Republic of Zambia, Government of Zimbabwe has decided to declare three days of national mourning in honour of the dear departed,” he said.
“For the duration of these three days of mourning which start today, Friday, 18th of June 2021 flags will fly at half-mast throughout the country.”
Mnangagwa went on to urge churches to pray for the late heroic Roman Catholic priest, Father Emmanuel Ribeiro who also died Thursday.
Father Ribeiro, who played an instrumental role in the liberation struggle, masterminding late former President Robert Mugabe and struggle hero Edgar Tekere’s escape to Mozambique to lead the liberation struggle, died at St Annes Hospital in Harare.
He was 85.
The cause of his death has not been disclosed.