Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda, 97, country’s first president hospitalized

Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of independent Zambia who obtained independence for Zambia from Britain in the early 1960s, has been rushed to a military hospital in the country’s capital Lusaka, with an undisclosed illness, according to a statement released today from his office.


Former President Kenneth Kaunda, ruled the southern African country from 1964 when the country had its independence from the British to 1991 when he lost power in the first multiparty elections to Frederick Chiluba.

Kaunda is one of the few surviving freedom fighters in Africa who fought hard to liberate the African continent from colonialism. He is  97 years old and Zambians have been asked to pray for the African hero.


Rodrick Ngolo, the former president’s administrative assistant, has issued a statement today confirming the news about Kaunda being rushed to the Maina Soko Medical Centre in Lusaka.

“His Excellency Dr Kaunda is requesting all Zambians and the international community to pray for him as the medical team is doing everything to ensure he recovers,” reads an excerpt of the statement from the former president’s office, published by Reuters. 


Zambia’s current President Edgar Lungu has issued a statement calling for national prayers for the former president’s life whom he described as the father of the nation praying that God should touch him with his healing hands.

Family relatives say they are praying that he recovers.


It is not clear if the former president has been hospitalized based on Covid-19 since the country is experiencing its worst moment of the virus as new cases have been on the rise within the last three weeks. 

According to statistics from the country’s ministry of health, new cases of the dreaded Covid-19 virus have risen significantly within the last two weeks from 1.44 new cases per 100,000 people in May to 8.91 as of the time of this report.

At least 1,348 people have died of the virus in Zambia while 108,000 positive cases have been recorded based on information from Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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