Editor's Comment

KK: The man and his legacy

WORDS to describe fallen founding Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda keep failing those who have attempted to define who he was.
Cleary, counted words on specified space in a printed surface cannot be enough to tell the story of a man who ruled Zambia close to three decades and lived almost a century.
It is indeed difficult to describe a man with a stature as enormous as Dr Kaunda was, especially that his influence spread beyond the borders of Zambia.
Zambians will appreciate Dr Kaunda’s King Solomon-like wisdom of uniting then 72 tribes that scattered across the length and breadth of a landlocked country with 13 million people at the time.
Yet those beyond the borders of Zambia wondered how a President of an independent country could be so concerned about the freedom of those outside his jurisdiction.
To the Zambians, it was the motto “One Zambia, One Nation,” which he coined, that reminded them of being a united family regardless of where they came from.
For the countries that surrounded him, Dr Kaunda felt their pain, struggle and desperation for freedom; hence he declared his independent nation would only be free once her neighbours attained independence.
He once described war as just like bush-clearing. The moment one stops, the jungle comes back even thicker, but for a little while one can plant and grow a crop in the ground won at a terrible cost.
Further, even beyond the borders of the African continent, Dr Kaunda was also respected for his charismatic and wise leadership that influenced the resolutions of international organisations like the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Commonwealth, and United Nations (UN).
It is against that background that we join the rest of the voices that have flooded Zambia in eulogising Dr Kaunda for his feat and the legacy he has left.
Zambians must be proud to have shared a person of Dr Kaunda’s status as one of the greatest statesmen of our age.
As one of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), later African Union (AU), and only surviving leader of that illustrious company, he became the Father of Africa and highly respected.
We agree with current United National Independence Party president Trevor Mwamba, who said the best way to remember Dr Kaunda is to emulate his selfless service.
This is true because Dr Kaunda was a selfless leader and servant whose concern was always for the well-being of people not only in Zambia but throughout the world. This is what made him a great soul and a great human.
Dr Kaunda has run his race, what, therefore, remains is for the rest of the countrymen to each stand up and begin to define their own legacy.
Zambians can borrow one of Dr Kaunda’s expressions, which he recited from the Bible, that we need to do to others as we would love others do to us.
It was the same Dr Kaunda who preached love beyond the definition of colour, creed, language, tribe and nationality, a notion worth emulating.
Dr Kaunda once declared that whether one was white, black, yellow or brown, we were all God’s children who should come together, work together for God to show his way.
With the above limited words, we can only echo Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu, who said: “Dr Kaunda, our father, you have ran your race, we are proud of you. We will mourn you by celebrating your life, we will emulate you”.

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