By | June 22, 2021 at 6:09 pm | No comments | Africa, News, Zambia

The Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG) pays glowing tribute to Dr. Kenneth Kaunda a foremost African nationalist, a fighter for African Unity and founder of the independent Republic of Zambia who finally departed this world at the ripe old age of 92. 

President Kenneth Kaunda affectionately known as KK was born on the 28th April 1924 and was a teacher who taught in both Zambia and Tanzania. 

He at an early age joined the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress, later breaking away to found the Zambian African National Congress and soon after the United National Independent Party. Kenneth Kaunda was born in a British colony known as Northern Rhodesia which was part of Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Malawi) and whose economy and politics under the colonial administration of Britain was dominated by minority white settlers. The people of these 3 territories were exploited as both colonial subjects and by a white minority settler regime. He and his comrades of had to therefore fight against this double header exploitative system and also fight against the policy of racist oppression. 

With encouragement from the wave of national liberation in Africa spearheaded by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Kenneth Kaunda participated in the All African Peoples Conference, an assembly of national liberation organizations in 1958 in Accra which brought together over 300 organizations. This is where the national liberation struggle in Africa was chartered and strategized, and which led to the victory of the independence movements in the 1960s. 

In 1964, Zambia under Kenneth Kaunda won its independence from Britain and prevented a federation of the white minority settlers of the 3 territories. After leading Zambia to political independence, he initiated policies to develop Zambia, by taking majority shares in the copper industry dominated by foreign multinationals mainly engaged in resource theft with almost no benefit to the Zambian people. He started a state led development process through widespread provision of health and educational infrastructure as well as investments in industries. 

Kenneth Kaunda realized that the development of Zambia could not take place while the rest of Southern Africa was colonized and under white minority rule. He therefore made Zambia the refuge of fellow Africans and a base for freedom fighters from South Africa, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Namibia, Mozambique and Angola. The consequence of this was incessant military attacks by the Portuguese army, Rhodesian army and the South African army. As a frontline state Zambia became a refuge for oppressed fellow Africans who were under brutal colonial and white minority regimes. Zambia suffered economic aggression as the colonial infrastructure development linked its access to the world through Southern Rhodesian and ports in South Africa. 

Kenneth Kaunda saw the critical importance of African Unity as the basis for securing the independence of Zambia and was of the firm conviction that Zambia could not be free whilst the minority regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa existed, in addition to the colonial stranglehold of Portugal, Angola and Mozambique and the occupation of South West Africa by apartheid South Africa. 
The people of the of Zambia paid the price of liberation with their lives and the destruction of infrastructure in defending African independence. There were mercenary attacks, military and economic sabotage and attempted coup d’état by the enemies of Africa against Zambia but to no avail as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa gained independence and established Black majority rule 

The post Kaunda era has been marked by a reversal of the gains of independence under the marching orders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Today, Zambia has embarked on the neo-liberal path and is implementing draconian policies to the detriment of the working people. The policies have led to the massive devaluation of the Zambian currency, the retrenchment of labour and the privatization of the State assets and resources. 

The SFG is confident that Zambia will rise again and play a leading role in the broad Pan Africanist Movement under the new leadership of the Socialist Party of Zambia. We firmly believe that the Socialist Party of Zambia will continue on the path of Kenneth Kaunda and build an independent national economy free from the stranglehold of the vampires of capitalist exploitation. 
President Kenneth Kaunda did not live and die in Vain. His works will live after him. 
The working people of Zambia will be free. 

Justice Akuffo-Henaku 
Head of International Relations Department 
P.O. Box NT 272, Accra – Newtown Accra 

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