ADDIS ABABA – African Union has paid tributes for former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda who died in the capital, Lusaka on Thursday at the age of 97.
Kaunda was one of the last generation of African leaders who fought colonialism.
“Africa has lost one of its finest sons,: the pan African bloc said in a statement issued soon few hours after his death confirmed by the current President of Zambia Edgar Lungu on Facebook.
African Union says Kaunda “embodied the true sense of Pan-Africanism, placing his own country Zambia at grave risk in order to provide safe harbour for the liberation movements of Southern Africa as well as its peoples”.
Kaunda, the first president of Zambia, is one of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which is changed into African Union in 2002.
Affectionately known as KK, he was one of the last surviving figures from Africa’s post-Second World War anti-colonial movement.
“His championing of the Frontline States to defeat Apartheid and white minority rule in Southern Africa laid the foundation for what we call regional integration today,” the pan African bloc statement reads.
The African Union said it stands in solidarity with the Kaunda family, the people and the Government of Zambia “as we mourn and honour the life of a freedom fighter, statesman, visionary and liberation struggle icon”.