Namibia: Kaunda, statesman par excellence – Geingob
President Hage Geingob has called former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda the quintessential statesman.
Geingob, who was accompanied by Minister of International Relations Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, was among foreign dignitaries who attended Kaunda’s state funeral in a socially distanced ceremony at a Lusaka stadium on Friday.
The 97-year-old man died in hospital from pneumonia last month.
In his tribute to the former statesman, Geingob said Kaunda’s influence extended beyond the borders of his homeland.
Geingob praised Kaunda as a giant of the African continent, an extraordinary personality who was one of the founding fathers of African independence.
“As an icon of our liberation struggle, this luminary has left an indelible mark on this continent, a perpetual reminder of its profound impact which continues to reverberate from Cape Town to Cairo and beyond the coasts of Africa” , did he declare.
Describing him as an outstanding Pan-Africanist with a great passion for liberating the entire African continent from the yoke of colonialism, Geingob said Kaunda promised in word and deed that Zambia’s independence in October 1964 would usher in the door to the total freedom of all. southern African countries.
Geingob said that under Kaunda’s leadership, Zambia has welcomed and extended its support to many African national movements, including the Swapo Party, the ANC, the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), the People’s Union. African of Zimbabwe (ZAPU) and the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO).
Many of these movements, which had querrila armed wings, operated from Zambian soil to overthrow colonial forces in their respective countries.
At the continental and international level, Geingob declared that Kaunda was a distinguished leader who, in 1963, served as president of the Pan-African freedom movement for East, Central and Southern Africa, as president of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) from 1970. to 1971 and again from 1987 to 1988 and the president of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), whose summit he hosted in Lusaka in 1970.
“In all his efforts at the head of these avant-garde political institutions, Comrade Kaunda’s aspiration and commitment was to end apartheid and the white minority regime in southern Africa,” a- he declared.
“Indeed, he succeeded in his lifetime in accomplishing these noble goals,” he added.
Later in his life, Geingob said that Kaunda used the same vigor and relentless energy to promote the ideals of Pan-Africanism and to support the fight against HIV / AIDS.
“I consider Comrade Kaunda to be my political father, to whom I was introduced by another extraordinary figure from Africa, Comrade Sam Nujoma, the father of the Namibian revolution,” he said.
He added that Kaunda authorized the United Nations Council for Namibia to establish the United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN), which he (Kaunda) personally inaugurated on August 26, 1976, in Lusaka and of which he ( Geingob) became the founding director until 1989..
He said UNIN has trained thousands of Namibians for the independence of Namibia to take over and run the affairs of an independent Namibian government, a task which has been successfully accomplished.
“We thank Comrade Kaunda and the rest of our Zambian brothers and sisters for their support. To the dear children, grandchildren and family of Comrade Kaunda; to the brotherly people of Zambia; we, the people of Namibia, offer you our deepest condolences on the loss of this great Pan-Africanist and beloved son of Africa, ”he said.