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Zambia’s first president Kaunda for burial July 7


Kenneth Kaunda

Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda will be buried on July 7, three weeks after he died aged 97, the presidency announced on Monday.

The hero of the struggle against white rule in southern Africa “shall be put to rest… at a very private ceremony for family and selected invited mourners,” Vice President Inonge Wina said on state television.

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He will be buried at the country’s presidential burial site situated opposite the cabinet office in Lusaka, following a state memorial to be held at the city’s 60,000-seat National Heroes Stadium on July 2.

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, foreign leaders may be accompanied by just one official, she said.

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Ahead of the funeral, Kaunda’s remains will be transported to the country’s 10 provinces starting Wednesday for people to pay their last respects to Zambia’s founding president, who ruled from 1964 until 1991 when he lost power to labour leader Fredrick Chiluba.

Wina said Kaunda’s body will be in a closed casket.

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Kaunda died Thursday at a military hospital where he had been admitted days earlier with pneumonia.