Day I drank from Kaunda’s fountain of Pan-African wisdom

Sunday, June 20th, 2021 00:00 |
George Kebaso and Late Kenneth Kaunda.

George Kebaso @Morarak

As the cold storm swept through the well-manicured gardens of the United Nations Office in Algiers, popularly known as the Palace of Nations on the outskirts of the city on the evening of December 14, 2010, former Zambia President Kenneth Kaunda was huddled in the warmth of the conference room in a pensive mood.

Around him, were a few journalists who got an opportunity to drink from the fountain of his Pan Africanist wisdom. I was one of them.

It was the 50th anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1514 by the United Nations, and it coincided with the day when  then International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno- Ocampo unveiled the list of six Kenyans that his office was investigating in connection with the 2007/8 post-election violence.

“What has happened to the Kenyan leaders at the ICC is not what we envisioned when we were championing for African democracy through the Pan African Movement which gave birth to the OAU,” he added.

Kaunda, the founding Zambian President and independence hero, said the media should be more nationalistic when reporting sensitive issues.

“You journalists should help your countries to be more cohesive instead of sowing hatred and ethnic divisions,” he said.

Veteran editor Ken Bosire, who says he was named after the leader who died last week at the age of 97, yesterday described Kaunda as a great Pan Africanist, who stood tall in the commitment to fight for the liberation and dignity of Africans.

“He didn’t become a mzungu sycophant like some fake liberators on this continent,” Bosire said.

Like him, many Kenyans were named after the Zambian leader, because their parents were proud of Kaunda’s Pan Africanist fame. 

Bosire said an overzealous teacher had, however, changed his name from Kenneth to Kennedy.

“I celebrate him,” he said.

In Kenya, Kaunda Street, a 200 metre stretch road is located in the Central Business District of the Capital, Nairobi.

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