Friday 18 June 2021

Southern Africa mourns Kenneth Kaunda

"The night has passed, rest in peace KK." This was Archbishop Thabo Makgoba's response to the death announced yesterday of former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda. He is remembered in the Province of Southern Africa especially for his wise and unstinting support for the liberation of all our nations. The following is the text of the citation of the Archbishop's Award for Peace with Justice, conferred upon KK on April 16, 2016, while the Archbishop was in Lusaka for a meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council: 

Archbishop’s Award for Peace with Justice

Kenneth David Kaunda

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;

   and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

   and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

The role played in Southern African history by his Excellency Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia, epitomises how a statesman can fulfil the injunction in Micah to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God. 

Born the son of a minister and a teacher, President Kaunda was steeped in the values of the Gospel from an early age. From early adulthood, his life revolved around service to his fellows, as a teacher, a community activist and a founding member of the liberation movement in Zambia. His commitment to service found its highest expression in his term as founding president of Zambia and in his unwavering commitment to liberation for others, making exceptional sacrifices as a consequence of harbouring fellow liberation fighters who were branded by white minority regimes as “terrorists”. At the end of the Cold War, he achieved new distinction as an exemplary leader when he became one of the first leaders to allow multi-party elections and afterwards to step down from power. Respected and loved by Nelson Mandela and the other liberators of Southern Africa, he was rightly honoured with an important role at Madiba’s funeral.

Supported by the Archbishop of Central Africa, the Bishop of Lusaka and the Dean of Lusaka, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa is honoured to present the Archbishop’s Award for Peace with Justice to President Kenneth Kaunda. 

“The inability of those in power to still the voices of their own consciences is the great force leading to change.” – Kenneth Kaunda

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