Remembrance of Kenneth Kaunda

Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991

Remembrance of Kenneth Kaunda by Sir Shridath Ramphal, Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1975 to 1990.

Dear Sir

Throughout all those years, Kaunda was President of Zambia – one of the front line states in ending white rule in Southern Rhodesia and the creation of Zimbabwe under adult suffrage for the African people who had been marginalised and oppressed in their own country.

This remembrance recalls the day when ending white rule in Zimbabwe and South Africa began in earnest.

Kenneth Kaunda (KK)

I have a memory of sitting by President Kaunda’s side in his small study in State House, Lusaka. It was Saturday, August 4, 1979 – the weekend break day in the Commonwealth Summit in Zambia; and all save a few heads of government had gone off to Livingstone to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The few who remained for that meeting were precious. They included President Nyerere and Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, Malcolm Fraser and Michael Manley. The President’s study ‘retreat’ had of course been carefully orchestrated. Kenneth Kaunda (KK) was superb; and so was everyone else.

At the end of the day, we had an Accord that led to the Lancaster House Conference and Zimbabwe’s Independence – which in turn led to Mandela’s freedom, the end of apartheid and the Independence of South Africa.

Kenneth Kaunda is of blessed memory.

Sir Shridath Ramphal


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