TIMELINE | Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda in dates

Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first post-colonial president, in key dates.

April 28, 1924: Kaunda is born at Lubwa mission in the north of the British colony of Northern Rhodesia, the youngest of eight children of a Presbyterian minister.

1951: Ends his teaching career to work for the anti-colonial Northern Rhodesian African National Congress.

1953: Kaunda is elected the party’s secretary general and launches non-violent campaigns for black majority rule that see him jailed for two months in 1955.

Zambia's President, Kenneth David Kaunda in the V.

Zambia’s President, Kenneth David Kaunda in the V.
.P. lounge at Manchester Airport yesterday (Sat). January 1969 P012552 (Photo by Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

1958: Founds the breakaway Zambian African National Congress which is banned, returning Kaunda to prison. It becomes the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and Kaunda takes over when he leaves jail in 1960.

READ | Zambia’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, dies aged 97 – son

1964: Britain grants independence and the UNIP wins elections. As president, Kaunda installs a state-dominated economy and single-party rule.

1991: Kaunda calls Zambia’s first multi-party elections, losing to Frederick Chiluba from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).


(L-R) Dr Oscar Dhlomo, Former President Kenneth Kaunda and former ANC leader Oliver Tambo. (Photo by Gallo Images/Die Burger)

1997: Kaunda is jailed in connection with an alleged coup plot against Chiluba. The charges are dropped the following year and he is released.

1999: Ruling on a MMD petition, a judge strips him of Zambian citizenship because his parents are from Malawi. The case is withdrawn the following year and he regains Zambian citizenship.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - AUGUST 01:  Queen Elizabeth ll, P

Queen Elizabeth ll, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Andrew attend a formal event with former President Kenneth Kaunda and wife Betty Kaunda on August 01, 1979 in Lusaka, Zambia. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

2000: Aged 75, he hands over the UNIP leadership.

2002: Starts a two-year fellowship as African president-in-residence at Boston University in the United States.

Bundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt (r) empfing am 6. Jun

Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (r) received the former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda (l) on June 6, 1977 in Bonn. (Photo by Heinrich Sanden / picture alliance via Getty Images)

2014: Hospitalised and treated reportedly for fatigue.

2015: Admitted in hospital for an undisclosed illness.

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - JANUARY 20: Former President of Z

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – JANUARY 20: Former President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda casts his ballot for the Zambian Presidential elections at Woodland Primary School in Lusaka on January 20, 2015. (Photo by Jean Mandela/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

June 17 2021: Kaunda dies at the age of 97 after admission to a military hospital.


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