UPPZ’s Charles Chanda backs burying KK next to Betty Kaunda
By Derrick Sinjela in Mansa, Luapula Province Central Province
United Prosperous and Peaceful Zambia (UPPZ) President Charles Chanda has backed a decision by former First Republican President Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda to bury the late nonagenarian leader next to wife, Beatrice Kaweche Banda at their Lusaka State Lodge residence.
In a Sunday 20th June Facebook Post Media Statement, a grieving Mr. Chanda expressed a desire that the Zambian Government, through Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Simon K Miti will heed the best wishes of the Kaunda family.
Chanda, an ordained pastor, currently seeking to be elected as Zambia’s Seventh (7th) Republican President on Thursday 12th August 2021, is delighted that burying KK next to Betty is a positive stride as the couple cherished each other in life and authorities must not separate them in death.
According to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services (MIBS) Permanent Secretary, Dr. Miti equally serving as Principal Private Secretary to President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is on Monday 21st June 2021, expected to release a comprehensive mourning and burial programme for the late Dr. Kaunda, who died at the age of 97 on Thursday 17th June 2021 and was born on Wednesday 24th April 1924.
“I support the decision of the family of Dr Kaunda to be buried on his farm next to the first Lady Beatrice Kaweche Banda (Betty Kaunda). There are sufficient reasons. Let us respect the family decision,” prayed Chanda that the Kaunda’s desire is allowed.
Comrade Ashton Kelly Bunda, an Executive Member of the Zambian Menstrual Hygiene for Female and Male Education Foundation (ZAM FEMEF), Zambian Developmental Media Alliance (ZADEMA), and the Zambian Children Young People and Women in Development (ZCYPWD) initially proposed to have such a family value decision as Kaunda and Betty are inseparable in life and death.
Musenge Manjata disagreed on account that Kenneth Kaunda reconciled with the former Second Republican President, the late Dr. Frederick Titus Jacob Chiluba, arguing that it’s wrong to bring such issues at this juncture.
“On this one my big man, I disagree with you, it’s about national heritage, nothing about those buried there. Kaunda is the first president of Zambia, you cannot bury him like a minister. It’s not his decision to make, even the Third Republican President, the late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa wanted to be buried at the farm but the state had to prevail. Even you, should know that in case you become Republican President, it’s not your wishes but that of the state that will stand,” protested Manjata.
But Chanda insisted: “Musenge Manjata, you are not Dr, Kaunda. Principles are principles and they are not traded. But he won’t be buried there.
Oliver Muzembo argued that ‘The Dead Know Nothing Sir’, there’s no harm burying him where other Presidents are, and in Zambia we have a Presidential Burial site, to which argument Chanda said Kaunda’s Family is alive to make a preferred decision.
Brian Chewe argued: “Oliver Muzembo, most developed countries designate official burial places for military veterans but in this case all Zambian past presidents never saved in the military, so it doesn’t matter whether Ronald Reagan was buried at his ranch in California, and likewise, most American presidents, I don’t see why Zambians, are so involved with burial location matters less besides the State Lodge, officially becomes a gazetted place and thus a public memorial place. Kaunda is an Icon, so his life is not private that’s what he signed up for and that’s what public office is when you sign up for that job, your life belongs to the public. I am Zambian, Sir, I know that in fact it would have been nice if they buried him (KK) where his parents (David and Helen Kaunda) are buried at Shambalekale Farm in Chinsali, Muchinga Province. For Your Information (FYI) it’s not in the constitution of most nations that presidents are designated a burial site and Zambia is no exception”.
Dada Andrew Mkochi said: “Will it mean the farm will be open to the public? Imagine every dignitaries coming to Zambia, will obviously want to visit where the statesman was put to rest according to their own schedule, that may inconvenience the Kaunda’s a lot”.
Raphael Banda backed Chanda’s position shared by the Kaunda family: “Same as former Zimbabwean President, the late Robert Gabriel Mugabe, he was buried in his home village”.
Amos Masuku said: “That’s the best he should be closer to ‘Mama Betty Kaunda’ since they have been together in the fight for ‘Mother Zambia”.
Simon Magistrate Gravit said: “I am sure it was his wish also and it must be respected by everyone”.
Enock Chansa Katai said: “But his not just any person…. he is our national icon”.
Jedidiah Al Mac Sultan just quipped: “First President is STATE PROPERTY. The family has no say”.
Grey Williams Shaba was brief: “Oh Okay”.