Zambia's founding President Kenneth Kaunda has died at the age of 97, according to the Zambian government. Secretary to the Cabinet Simon Miti said on Thursday that Kaunda died at 2:30 p.m. local time at Main Soko Hospital, a military hospital, where he had been admitted since Monday, in Lusaka, the country's capital.
Miti said on state-broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, that the government will provide a detailed program on the funeral arrangement in line with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Kaunda's contribution to the struggle against colonialism and apartheid would not be forgotten.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu has announced a 21-day mourning period for the former president Lungu said he learnt of Kaunda's passing this afternoon with great sadness.
"On behalf of the entire nation and on my own behalf I pray that the entire Kaunda family is comforted as we mourn our First President and true African icon," Lungu wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday.
Kaunda - popularly known as KK - was a strong supporter of efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. He was also a leading supporter of liberation movements in Mozambique and what is now Zimbabwe.