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Definition: Kaunda from The Macquarie Dictionary

Kenneth David born 1924, Zambian politician; leader of the independence movement and first president of Zambia 1964—91.


Summary Article: Kaunda, Kenneth David from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Zambian politician, president 1964–91. Imprisoned 1958–60 as founder of the Zambia African National Congress, in 1964 he became the first president of independent Zambia. In 1972 he introduced one-party rule. He supported the nationalist movement in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and survived a coup attempt in 1980. In 1990, widespread anti-government demonstrations forced him to accept a multiparty political system and he was defeated in multiparty elections in 1991 by Frederick Chiluba.

Kaunda stepped down as UNIP leader in 1992, but returned to active politics in 1995–2000; however he found himself debarred from contesting the presidency by a change in the constitution, and was briefly charged in 1998 with concealing knowledge of an abortive coup in October 1997. In 1999 his son, Major Wesi Kaunda, died after being shot outside his home in Lusaka. In 2000 Kaunda was stripped of his Zambian nationality after the high court upheld a petition filed against him by members of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy. However, the matter was subsequently settled in Kaunda's favour.

Born near Chinsali, in what was then Northern Rhodesia, he joined the anti-colonial African National Congress (ANC) in 1949 and became its secretary-general during the early 1950s. A division over strategy led to his breaking away in 1958–59 to form the Zambia African National Congress (ZANU), and in 1960 he became president of UNIP. He stepped down as UNIP leader in 2000, being succeeded by his son Tilyenji Kaunda, but the party had limited support except in the Eastern Province. He was elected chair of the Organization of African Unity (OAU; later African Union) in 1970 and 1987.

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Kaunda, Kenneth David

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