Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared a seven-day mourning period following the death of Zambia’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda.
âI have learned of the passing of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the founding father of the Republic of Zambia, a great statesman and African leader. In honor of this great son of the soil, I have declared a period of mourning of seven days in Botswana during which all the flags will fly at half mast, âthe president said in a statement on Thursday.
“Dr Kaunda was Botswana’s best friend and, together with Sir Seretse Khama and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, defended the liberation and independence of our region … The death of former President Kaunda is a loss for his compatriots in Zambia, their friends in Botswana, and the African continent. We extend our condolences to the Zambian people during this difficult time. “
He said Dr Kaunda was the first head of state to visit Botswana shortly after independence in 1966.
âHis four-day State visit to Botswana, May 21-24, 1968, ushered in an unprecedented period of excellent bilateral relations between Botswana and Zambia; after Zambia gained its own independence from British colonial rule which saw Dr Kaunda assume the country’s first presidency in 1964. “