June 17th, 2021, will go down in the history of Zambia as the day when a dark cloud befell the country.

On this fateful day, we lost our founding father and First Republican Head of state, Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

His death is not only a huge blow to over 18 million Zambians but also the world going by the number of countries that joined us in mourning our founding President by declaring state funerals in his honour. But for President Edgar Lungu, the demise of Dr Kenneth Kaunda is the loss beyond his comprehension.

This is because Dr Kenneth Kaunda was a friend, philosopher and guide to President Lungu from the beginning of his political career. He was the ‘go to’ man for President Lungu whenever he faced any obstacle.

And Late KK was more than glad to help President Lungu.They shared a highly cordial relationship, beyond politics. It was more of a father – son kind of relationship than a mentor and disciple.

When President Lungu joined active politics, KK was the man he looked up to. It was Dr. Kaunda who inculcated the values of social harmony, unity, peace, development and stability into President Lungu.

In KK’s own words, “It is here in Choma, June 1973, that we agreed to work together, as brothers and sisters from various backgrounds, to build more harmony, unity, peace, development and stability. Because of the Choma Declaration, a lot was over the years achieved.”

After the historical meeting at Choma in June 1973, Edgar Chagwa Lungu did not miss any opportunity to meet Dr KK and seek his blessings. Those visits, however brief, had always been enriching for one Edgar Chagwa Lungu who was making his way up the political ladder.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda has left everlasting impression on the life and personality of Edgar Chagwa Lungu, which is evident in his day to day conduct.

“In 2016, I had the privilege of visiting Lubwa Mission in Chinsali with our founding father Dr Kenneth Kaunda. Together we visited the place of his birth. Although only the foundation remains of the house today, it still keeps a wonderful piece of history,” recalls President Lungu.

It is our responsibility to preserve the history in honour of his memory and take his legacy forward for a prosperous Zambia.

President Lungu was highly inspired by his legendary humility and humanity. Late President Kenneth Kaunda’s memories will be cherished forever.

“I hold with utmost respect his charge to me on this occasion to work for the people. I will honour his wish,” President Edgar Chagwa Lungu assures.