Juba, South Sudan,
June 22, 2021 – Zambia has set July 7 for the burial of Founding President Late Kenneth Kaunda who died last week at a military hospital in Lusaka. The Southern African country announced that the burial proceeding will happen after a private ceremony.
According to Nation Africa, Inonge Wina, Zambia’s Vice President who announced the burial date said the ‘very private’ ceremony will be restricted to the ‘family and selected invited mourners’ only.
Kaunda, a liberation icon and Pan African, died at age 97 on June 17 at a military hospital where he was admitted with pneumonia.
The Vice President told the media that the body of the Former President will in a closed casket and will be taken to the country’s ten regions on request by his family.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Southern African Region, the VP said viewing will be prohibited. Zambia had reported 47 new deaths as of Monday, the highest number since the outbreak of the second wave.
Foreign leaders invited to the funeral ceremony will be restricted to travel with only one official accompanying him or her, according to the Vice President.
Kaunda’s remains will be paraded across the country’s 10 regions starting July 23, with the first stop at Choma, south of the region where the late and his arch-rival, then African National Congress leader Harry Nkumbula, signed a truce to end the rivalry and ushered in a one-party State in 1973.
21 days have been declared for mourning in Zambia with neighboring countries declaring at least 10 days to mourn Kaunda for the contributions he made regionally.
The veteran politician ruled Zambia from 1964 to 1991 before losing the presidential seat to labor leader Fredrick Chiluba.
Chiluba and two other previous Zambian leaders, Levy Mwanawasa and Michael Sata are also buried at the Lusaka site regarded as a Heroes Acre in Zambia. This is contrary to earlier social media reports Kaunda preferred to be buried next to his wife, Betty, at his residence in East Lusaka.