“I pray that the entire Kandyan family will be comforted on behalf of the whole nation and on my behalf by mourning our first President and the true African icon,” the President added.
Lungu’s office said in a statement on Monday that he was being treated for an unknown ailment at a military hospital in the Kanda capital, Lusaka. His office told Reuters on Tuesday that he was being treated for pneumonia.
Counta was Zambia’s first president since the South African country gained independence from Britain. He ruled from 1964 to 1991 and is known as a giant in the continental struggle against colonialism.
Kanda is revered for his struggle for independence from Zambia, which sought to break free from white minority rule in the 1950s.
His revolt to liberate Northern Rhodesia – which later became independent of the Republic of Zambia – sparked independence movements across Africa, from what he described as the “worst secession” from repressive colonial rule.
Kanda was imprisoned in the late 1950s for his hardships. Kanda, who spoke to CNN in 2010, said imprisonment was beneficial. “I think I won in the end, but it was unjust to go to jail, be arrested by the police, beaten and thrown in jail,” he said.
In the early 1960s, shortly after his release from prison, Kanda became involved in radical politics and became the leader of the newly formed United National Freedom Party (UNP).
One side was criticized for the regime
Following Zambia’s independence in 1964, Kanda became the country’s first president and held power for 27 years under one – party rule.
Kanda was widely criticized and accused of overthrowing the dictatorial regime for his preference for a one-party system. He told CNN that his decision to support a one-party arrangement was justified and not born out of a dictatorship.
“… I have never been a dictator. It (a party organization) is a bargain with the people. But I know it is not even the best course of action. But in that situation that is the only way out,” he explained, adding that liberation from Zambia’s colonialism could not be achieved by a multi – party system.
“My colleagues and I decided that we were going to go to a party because there was no way, no way, that we could have fought and defeated the colonialism around us, with so many parties in Zambia at that time. There was no way,” Kanda told CNN. My.
He was one of the first African leaders to quietly pacify power in 1991 after popular opposition forced him to allow multi-party elections, losing to Frederick Silpa.
He was a charismatic politician who lost popular support as popular beginnings gradually eased his 27-year rule after Zambia’s independence.
He devoted most of his time to the fight against HIV / AIDS and became a beloved African politician in the post-presidential period. He was one of the last life leaders of the freedom struggle in Africa.
During his tenure, he supported black majority rule in South Africa and present-day Zimbabwe and entertained anti-apartheid leaders in Zambia. His signature safari jacket paired with a casual pair of trousers is known as the Kanda suit in many parts of Africa.
The 21-day period of national mourning has been announced, Cabinet Secretary and the President’s Principal Private Secretary Simon Mitti announced on state television.