News / Africa

Zambians Mourn Death of Former First Lady Betty Kaunda

TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty
Zambia is mourning the death of Betty Kaunda, wife of the country’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, who died early Wednesday in Zimbabwe while visiting her daughter. 

The former first lady is viewed as the mother of the nation and the strength of her husband, who played a leading role during Africa’s liberation struggle. Kaunda was 84.  

Zambia’s minister for foreign affairs and tourism, Given Lubinda, President Michael Sata and the people of Zambia are shocked and saddened by the death of the woman known by most Zambians as “Mama Kaunda.”

“The Zambian people and the government of Zambia received the information about the passing of the former first lady, Mama Betty Kaunda, with a great sense of shock because the last time Mama Betty Kaunda appeared in public in the company of her husband, she looked well and happy with her usual smile.  Mrs. Betty Kaunda is considered by all Zambians as a mother of the nation, and the country at the moment is engulfed in a sense of grief,” he said.

Lubinda said Kaunda’s popularity even in death, and nearly 21 years since her husband left power, is symptomatic of the kind of humble life she led.

“People in Zambia remember very well the painful experience that Mrs. Kaunda underwent in 1990 after Frederick Chiluba became the second Republican president.  President Kenneth Kaunda was humiliated, together with his family, and yet Madam Betty Kaunda handled everything with such a sense of responsibility and so much grace.  Even after Dr. Kaunda was imprisoned by Frederick Chiluba during Christmas, Madam Betty Kaunda never said any word disparaging President Chiluba and his government,” he said.

He said the late former first lady is also being mourned by many Zambians because in life they consider her as a fountain of hope and inspiration.

Mrs. Kaunda’s husband, the first president of Zambia, contributed greatly towards the liberation of Zambia and the southern African region as a whole.

Butty interview with Lubinda
Butty interview with Lubindai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Lubinda said Kaunda was the strength of her husband during the liberation struggle.

“Dr. Kenneth Kaunda in his book, Letter to My Children, narrates very eloquently what he kept repeating as his fountain of strength during the liberation struggle, and his fountain of strength was no other than Mama Betty Kaunda.  When President Kaunda was incarcerated during the liberation struggle, he went into incarceration with strength because he knew that Mama Betty Kaunda was there to continue the struggle and to continue to take care of their children,” he said.

Lubinda said the Zambian government will give Mrs. Kaunda a befitting funeral.

According to The Zambia Post newspaper, Kaunda is survived by her husband of 66 years, eight children, 30 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid