President Muhammadu Buhari has described Zambia’s founding President and liberation hero, Kenneth Kaunda, as one of the greatest African and world leaders of all time who loved his country and people profoundly.
The president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a statement Thursday, quoted Buhari as stating this in his reacting to Kaunda’s death.
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kaunda, who died at the age of 97, ruled Zambia from 1964, when the Southern African country won its independence from Britain, to 1991.
NAN also reports that afterwards, the late nationalist became one of the most committed activists against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
The Nigerian leader said: “I have received his (Kaunda’s) passing with great shock because I knew his contributions to the development of not only Zambia but also, Africa at large.
“We can’t forget in a hurry how Kaunda gave shelter to anti-apartheid freedom fighters from South Africa and former Rhodesia.”
Buhari described the late Zambian president as one of the loudest voices for the liberation of Africa from colonialism and imperialism, stressing that he did so with passion and sincerity.
”It is impossible to reflect on Kaunda’s legacy without acknowledging his selflessness and passion for service,” he said.
The president extended his condolences and that of the nation to Kaunda’s family, the government and people of Zambia over the former president’s death. (NAN)