By Bulawayo Correspondent
ZIMBABWE’S opposition, Zapu has joined Zambian people in mourning the neighbouring country’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda following his death Thursday.
Kaunda, who was popularly known as ‘KK’, died at Maina Soko Medical Centre in Lusaka where he was being treated for pneumonia.
Zambian incumbent President Edgar Lungu has declared 21 days of mourning for the late liberation hero.
Zapu’s spokesperson, Iphithule Maphosa described Kaunda as a “doyen of Africa’s liberation and search for freedom.”
“At the time Zambia’s independence was at its infancy, President Kaunda sacrificed his people and their development by opening up Zambia to southern African countries that were still fighting for liberation against the White settlers,” he said.
“Liberation movements from across the region found home and refuge in Zambia from where they carried out their struggle activities and launched operations in their respective countries.”
Zapu’s founding President Joshua Nkomo, and the party’s military wing, the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) spent years in Zambia with the armed forces based at various training camps in the neighbouring country with Kaunda’s blessings.
Maphosa said besides hosting liberation armies, Zambia, under Kaunda also provided diplomatic and political support to the liberation movements.
“Zimbabwe is one such example of recipients of Dr. KK’s generosity, love and care, all in utmost humility. Zapu got all the necessary support from Zambia to wage a successful struggle for independence in Zimbabwe, without which the 1980 feat would not have been possible,” said the Zapu spokesperson.
He also described the late Kaunda as an unparalleled liberator of Africa.
“Remaining humble even out of power, it is a pity he has not been accorded the attention deserving of the father of African freedom and liberation.
“He even went through persecution from imperialist stooge elements in his country but still remained humble and committed to love his people, a rare leadership quality he possessed till the end,” added Maphosa.