Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president and a key figure in its independence struggle, has died at the age of 97, his family has confirmed.
Kaunda was admitted to a hospital in the capital Lusaka on Monday suffering from pneumonia. His aides said he did not have Covid-19.
In the 1950s, Kaunda was a key figure in what was then Northern Rhodesia’s independence movement from Britain.
He became president following independence in 1964.
As head of the left-leaning United National Independence Party (UNIP), Kaunda then led the country through decades of one-party rule.
He stepped down after losing multi-party elections in 1991.
Kaunda was a strong supporter of efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. He was also a leading supporter of liberation movements in Mozambique and what is now Zimbabwe.