Media Release: SADC Parliamentary Forum Saddened by Passing of Dr Kenneth Kaunda

17 Jun 2021
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WINDHOEK-NAMIBIA, Thursday 17 June 2021 - The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum has learnt with a deep sense of shock and sadness about the passing on of Zambia's founding father and former President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

Dr. Kaunda, who had been hospitalised recently due to ill health, was the first President of liberated Zambia and took the helm in 1964 after his country gained independence from Britain. He was Zambia's President for 27 years - from 1964 until 1991.

"We would like to thank him for his contribution in ensuring that the people of the region enjoy the freedoms that they have, he is one of the foremost people who paved the way for others to gain independence from the colonial regimes," said SADC PF Secretary General, Ms. Boemo Sekgoma.


Born in April 1924 at Lubwa Mission in the northern province of the Republic of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda became President of the Republic of Zambia in October 1964.

After taking over as President, Dr. Kaunda assisted other liberation movements in Southern Africa to fight for the independence of their countries - notable amongst these is South Africa's African National Congress. In 2002, the SA Government awarded him with the first Order of the Companions of O.R Tambo in Gold for his "Exceptional contribution to the struggle against apartheid and for justice in the Southern region" to honour him.

In 1991, after leaving government he founded the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Foundation dedicated to the establishment of peace and conflict resolution in the continent.

"It is heartbreaking to lose one of the region's unifying figures and fountains of wisdom at this time as we are grappling with the economic recovery post-Covid-19 and finding ways to integrate the region in order to roll out the Africa Continental Free Trade Areas" added the Secretary General.

Dr. Kaunda became President of the Pan-African Freedom movement for East, Central and Southern Africa in 1963 and started playing a continental role. He extended his influence to the global level after Zambia's independence, serving as chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity from 1970 to 1971 and from 1987 to 1988.

The SADC Parliamentary Forum sends its deepest sympathies to the people of Zambia during this difficult time.


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The Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) was established in 1997 in accordance with Article 9 (2) of the SADC Treaty as an autonomous institution of SADC It is a regional inter-parliamentary body composed of Thirteen (14) parliaments representing over 3500 parliamentarians in the SADC region. Read More

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