Zambia’s founding president and liberation hero Kenneth Kaunda died at the age of 97 at a military hospital in Lusaka, where he was being treated for pneumonia, his son Kambarage said on Wednesday.
From 1964, when Zambia gained independence from Britain, until 1991, Kaunda ruled the southern African nation. He became an activist against HIV/AIDS.
Kambarage said on the late president’s Facebook page: “I am very sad to inform (members) that Mzee passed away. Please pray for him.”
Earlier this week, the former president had been admitted to the Maina Soko Medical Centre in Lusaka after feeling unwell.
Zambia’s copper-based economy fared badly under Kaunda’s long stewardship, but he will be remembered more for standing up to white minority-ruled South Africa as an anti-colonial fighter.