UCCSA Shares Tribute After Loss of Dr. Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda
Our Condolences to the Family of Dr. Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda (KK), the United Church of Zambia, the Zambian Nation and all those who have been inspired by KK in the struggle for justice and liberty
The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) joins the Kaunda family, the Zambian Nation and the whole of Africa in paying tribute to His Excellency Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda popularly known as KK who passed on – on Thursday 17th June 2021. Though we are saddened by the passing on of the luminary, the great son of Africa, we join hands with all people of goodwill in celebrating the legacy of this iconic figure whose contribution to the liberation of Southern Africa, in particular, is indelible in our memory and the history of Africa.
The UCCSA has a longstanding historical association with the Kaunda family, with KK and the United Church of Zambia and the people of Zambia. We are proud of the fact that Dr. KK was a son of a Minister of Religion and teacher. We are proud of the fact that it was in this Christian family that Dr. KK was moulded to be passionate about God’s people and to embrace the values and principles of liberation theology which inspired him to fight for the liberation of the Zambian Nation and the whole of Southern Africa. Inspired by the Biblical liberative discourse, Dr. KK became one of the pioneering leaders of African liberation from the pangs of colonialism, oppression and racial injustice. As a disciplined politician and faithful Christian, Dr. KK lived to maintain strong and sound relations with the Church during and post the struggle for independence. As President of Zambia, Dr. KK always encouraged freedom of worship, and under his rule, religious freedom was guaranteed. As a Statesman, Dr. KK introduced Humanism philosophy which promoted the centrality of the human person in all activities of life and work. Kaunda’s philosophy of Humanism tinged with socialism in model of what I will call Christian Communism of the Early Church as modeled in Acts 2 and 4 where believers had everything in common. His mantra ‘One Zambia, One nation’ was a call to a United people of Zambia. In part, Dr. KK’s model of Christian Humanism was influenced by the fact that Churches were assisting the government’s development agenda of providing education and health care delivery to citizens. In his luminary service, Dr. KK enjoyed harmonious relations with all church denominations in the country.
In his entire political career, Dr KK never ceased playing an active role in the liberation struggles of countries like present day Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola. After Zambia attained her independence on the 24th of October 1964, Dr KK did not stop thinking about fellow African countries that were still under colonial rule. This commitment to the liberation struggle especially in Southern Africa came at a great economic cost to Zambia. Nevertheless, it was a sacrifice that Dr KK said time and again was worth making because Zambia could not be free until all of Southern Africa was liberated. In light of this commitment. Dr KK actually opened up Zambia’s boarders for African liberation movements to set up bases in the prosecution of their struggles. This gesture made Dr KK an African liberation visionary, a stalwart on whose shoulders we all stand today. Zambia, under Dr KK, became a model of what one nation can do to birth and benefit all. He fought for all and not some. His legacy and
simplicity remain a model to our call of duty! To crown his legacy as a democrat, Dr KK left power peacefully, after his loss in the October 1991 General Elections after serving the Nation as its President for 27 years.
As a sign of his dedication to serve God’s people, post his presidency, Dr KK became an anti-HIV/AIDS activist through his Kenneth Kaunda Foundation: Children for Africa. As a leader, Dr KK openly talked about losing one of his sons to HIV/AIDS. In the twilight of his life, Dr KK was actively sought after for public speaking engagements, advice, and inspiration by various civic and non-governmental organizations in Zambia, Africa and beyond. In his death, Kaunda will forever be fondly remembered as the “Father of the Nation” and “Father of African Liberation” for the huge sacrifice he made for his people and Africa in general. Dr KK and those of his generation feared no evil and spared no effort in their quest for the total liberation of Africa. As a way of uniting Africa, Dr KK was one of the pioneering figures in the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now called African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). These are platforms that have given Africa and Southern Africa vast opportunities to express the difficult situations and to strategize ways in which they could provide support and solidarity in the context of neocolonialism. As Dr KK and his counterparts embarked on these initiatives, they knew very well the risks involved in what they were doing but their love for liberated Africa motivated them to never give in to fear! As we celebrate the attainment of independence across Africa, we are mindful that our sub-continent would not be where it is today had it not been for the selfless contribution, political vision and statesmanship of people like Dr KK and the pioneering African Statesmen. All of us in Africa and to be more specific, in Southern Africa, will remain eternally grateful to Dr Kenneth Kaunda and those of his age for their contribution towards the birth and reconstruction of Africa from the ravages of slavery, colonialism, oppression and racial injustice.
As we celebrate a life well lived, we are also mindful that Dr Kenneth Kaunda’s passing on represents the close of a very important chapter of the post-colonial history of the Southern Africa. While we will always remember Dr KK as an outstanding Statesman and a maverick politician, those of us in the Church particularly the Reformed Christian Family (United Churches) will always remember him as a committed Christian whose life and work was driven by his faith in God and his love for God and neighbor. Dr KK’s legacy will live on! His magnanimous service for Africa and her people will remain an inspiration for generations to come! The freedom attained from colonial masters by Dr KK’s generation has not yielded enough economic freedom, hence the present generation has a responsibility to build prosperous African states whose wealth is in the hands of the majority.
The UCCSA takes this opportunity to thank the government and people of Zambia for the love and respect they have afforded Dr Kenneth David Kaunda, particularly in bestowing upon him the honor of the father of their nation. We are convinced that such national recognition will unite the people of Zambia in their pilgrimage to continue building a prosperous Nation. May the soul of Dr Kenneth David Kaunda rest in eternal peace and may his memory be a blessing to the people of Africa and the world over!
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life, John 5:24.