Zambian President Edgar Lungu has sent a message of goodwill to the country’s Founding President Dr Kenneth Kaunda following the latter’s hospitalisation at Maina Soko Medical Centre in Lusaka over an undisclosed ailment.
Affectionately known as KK, Dr Kaunda served as the first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.
His hospitalisation on Monday came a day after President Lungu collapsed as he presided over the 45th Zambia Defence Forces Day.
Cabinet Secretary Mr Simon Miti said President Lungu experienced a spell of dizziness, but had quickly bounced back and was in good health. He also reassured the nation and the international community that the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zambia Defence Forces remained fit to hold office.
In another statement, Mr Miti said President Lungu wished KK a speedy recovery.
“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the people of Zambia and indeed on my own behalf, I wish to convey best wishes and a speedy recovery to Dr. Kaunda” President Lungu said, adding “we pray for God’s intervention in his health”.
Administrative officer in KK’s Office, Mr Rodrick Ngolo said Zambia’s Founding President had been unwell, necessitating hospital admission.
KK, as head of the United National Independence Party, led Zambia to Independence from Britain in 1964 and ruled the country until 1991.
During his rule, KK turned Zambia into a centre for anticolonial groups fighting to end white minority rule in Southern African countries, including Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
KK was also an AIDS campaigner, announcing publicly one of his sons had died from the illness.Also nicknamed “Africa’s Gandhi” for his non-violent, independence-related activism in the 1960s, he charmed mourners at Nelson Mandela’s burial in December 2013. When organisers attempted to usher him away from the podium after he ran over his allotted time, he drew laughs by saying they were “trying to control an old man who fought the Boers”, or Afrikaners — the white descendants of South Africa’s first Dutch settlers. – Lusaka Times – Agencies