The first president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, the father of the independence of the country he ruled for 27 years, died today at the age of 98, the government reported, and world agencies report.

He died peacefully at 2.30pm in hospital, Secretary of State Simon Mitty said on national television.

The former head of state was admitted to the hospital on Monday in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, due to pneumonia, reports AFP.

Zambia is currently struggling with a jump in the number of kovid cases, and Kaunda was admitted to the military hospital in Lusaka, which is a center for the treatment of kovid.19.

Kaunda was the leader of the campaign that ended British colonial rule and became the first democratically elected president of Zambia in 1964. He led a country that became a one.party state until 1991, when he was defeated in elections after the introduction of a multi.party system, reports the AP agency.

During his rule, Kaunda turned Zambia into a center for anti.colonial groups fighting to end the rule of the white minority in South African countries, including Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Kaunda allowed guerrilla organizations to run military bases, training camps, refugee centers, and administrative offices.

Kaunda’s son wrote in the announcement of his death:

“I regret to inform you that we have lost Mze. We pray for him,” Kaunda’s son said, using an expression in Swahili that signifies respect for the elder.

By Editor

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