Kenneth David Kaunda wins Zambian elections

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Tuesday, 25 August 1964

Kenneth David Kaunda wins Zambian elections and will become the first president of an independent republic on 24 October 1964. The victory of Kaunda in the elections signaled an important phase in the struggle against colonial domination in the sub continent.  Under his presidency, Kaunda allowed liberation movements from Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe to use his country as a launch pad for the struggle against white minority rule. For instance, the ANC considered Zambia as its Western Front among others. The presence of the ANC and ZAPU in Zambia resulted in cooperation between the Rhodesian and South African security forces in arresting cadres retuning from Zambia.

Kaunda played an important role in assisting Oliver Tambo to set up an ANC in Lusaka. Later in the 1989 when Tambo collapsed suffering from a stroke, Kaunda intervened by organizing a plane that carried him from Lusaka to London.

 In December 2002, Kaunda was awarded the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in 2002 the highest that a country can bestow on its citizens of foreign nationals by the South African government.  He was also awarded the Ubuntu Award by the National Heritage Council in 2007 for his role in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

References:
• The Presidency. 'The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo, List of Recipients' [online], available at:  thepresidency.gov.za  [accessed: 13 August 2010]
• BBC News. '1964: President Kaunda takes power in Zambia' [online] available at news.bbc.co.uk  [accessed 13 August 2010]
•  Lulli Callinicos, 2005 ed, Oliver Tambo Beyond the Engeli Mountains, p.316-31  

Last updated : 07-Oct-2014

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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