Where Kenneth Kaunda should have been Buried beside Betty Kaunda at State Lodge Residence; Betty Kaunda should be Re-Buried beside Kenneth Kaunda at Presidential Burial Site at Embassy Park
When Beatrice “Betty” Kaunda, (17.11.1928 – 18.09. 2012), wife of Kenneth Kaunda for 66 years died at the age, 82, in 2012, there were rumblings of her being buried at either Shambalakale farm in Chinsali in Muchinga Province or State Lodge, outside KK’s residence, in Lusaka.
She was buried at State Lodge, outside KK’s residence.
Earlier, when the third President Levy Mwanawasa, 59, (1948 – 2008) died in office in France, there were similar rumblings of his will or desire to be buried at his farm in Chongwe or Embassy Park.
He was buried at Embassy Park in front of The World War cenotaph and Cabinet Office of Vice President’s office and other defense and security ministries.
Without a law or history or policy there was public discovery learning or guesses or disrection or negotiations or back-and-forth consultationss between government and the LPM family.
While the idea and negotiation to bury LPM at Embassy Park has since been developed to an extent of not only accommodating other presidents besides LPM but also accommodating huge custom mausoleums of African stool of office design for LPM himself and temple design for FJT and infrastructure temple design for MCS.
In short, there is enough space for Dr Kaunda and Mama Kaunda to be both buried side by side at Embassy Park and inside KK’s mausoleum.
That is the unwritten will or desire, as common of many couples, of KK and BK to be buried as KK’s parents, David Kaunda and Hellen Kaunda at Lubwa.
(Mrs Kaunda traditionally arranged KK and BK marriage in three months without courtship, without divorce for 66 years, when all the other five presidents had records of divorces. Traditionally too, KK should be in charge of the burial of his wife, as the state is in charge of his burial, especially, meaning even death cannot set them apart.)
Otherwise, the ball is in the court of government, as in 2008 of LPM, to accept, propose and negotiate the re-burial of Mama Kaunda at Embassy Park with KK.
In May 1946 examinations were held. I received the E.T.C and went back to Mpika ready to begin teaching at the opening of the next school term.
It was only a few weeks after my arrival from Mbereshi that one day, in June 1946, I was in the kitchen adjoining the house.
I came out, curtsied and greeted the aunt, but I was not quite sure who she was and where she had come from. She said to me, ‘How lovely, Mutinke, you have grown up into a big girl since I just saw you at Chinsali. [….] Then mother called me again and asked me to prepare good food for the stranger, Naketi Kaunda. The name Kaunda rang a bell. The stranger was no one else but Mrs David Kaunda of Lubwa Mission. [….]
While I put the food on the table I noticed that Mrs Kaunda was taking a good look at me. Every time I looked at her she looked away and when I looked away she put her inspecting eyes on me.
I found two young men [Simon Kapwepwe and John Sokoni] playing guitars. I did not know which of the two was Kenneth, and I wondered where the third one was. [….] In the evening I came again [to Mrs Hellen Kaunda’s house] to find out which one Kenneth was. This time the three of them were there together with some other people. And I easily saw that the third one must be Kenneth Kaunda. He appeared to be very happy to see me. I took a few quick looks at him and my heart was already warming up. I felt that if he were the one….
The two other men left the room, apparently to give their friend a chance for speaking to me. I was now in no doubt he was the one.
He introduced himself and went straight to the point. I became speechless. He asked me several questions to which, as is the [Bemba] custom, I did not reply. [….] Silence meant consent.
My fiance said goodbye to me and went to Lubwa Mission where he was headmaster of the school.[….] He announced that the wedding should be on the 24th August.*
*Betty Kaunda, a biography by Stephen A. Mpashi (1969, Longmans of Zambia)