Church calls on ZPRA and ZANLA veterans to honour Kenneth Kaunda

A Bulawayo based Pentecostal Church, Golden Gate Ministries, has called on both ZPRA and ZANLA veterans including the government to honour former Zambian leader, Kenneth Kaunda, for accommodating them during the liberation war.

Popularly known as KK, Kaunda who turned 96 this year, served as the first President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991, after the white government conceded control of the country to black Africans in 1962 where upon his election, Kaunda promised to promote a national philosophy of Christian socialism.

Despite general concerns about the potential damage to the country’s economic stability by supporting liberation movements, Zambia backed armed struggles in Southern Africa including the liberation movements of ZAPU and ZANU, as Zambian authorities allowed them to establish bases.

Addressing the press in Bulawayo, Pastor Samuel Mabhena from Golden Gate Ministries located in Mpopoma said his church felt the Zambian leader ought to be honoured for his role in assisting to liberate Zimbabwe.

“ZPRA and ZANLA were in Zambia where they were accommodated by Kaunda. We feel as a church he must be honoured by this group of people who were there. His economy went very weak because of us, his people were injured because of us and the Bible tells us we must appreciate. Why can’t we thank this great leader?” said the pastor.

Zambia’s support for liberation movements included offering them recognition, transit and broadcasting facilities, and financial and material aid while its government also accorded diplomatic backing to leaders of liberation movements.

Pastor Mabhena noted Kaunda deserved his dues while he was still alive, as age was not on his side.

“He is growing old, his wife (Betty) died (in 2012). I feel his family ought to come to Zimbabwe and receive the appreciation of their father. Kaunda did a good thing not for Zimbabwe only but for the whole southern Africa,” he said.

“With love, courtesy and respect we kindly suggest to our leaders to kindly honour this son of the soil. This icon leader KK of Zambia. He and his country contributed immensely to countries in Southern Africa. We kindly appeal to both ZPRA and ZANLA to kindly honour this leader before he dies.”

The pastor suggested that Zimbabwean leaders invite Kaunda to bestow honour to him.

“Maybe it would fit if he and his family come to Zimbabwe for such a memorial occasion and suppose our wish is granted we would suggest that he would be given a pulpit to preach. KK fears God and he is a Christian,” Pastor Mabhena said.

He added that this was his church’s suggestion, and had no means to reach Kaunda but knew the government was capable.

“Government leaders can invite him then the church can chip in. The government can invite him, as they invite other leaders. I don’t think we can do it alone, he’s too big for us but he’s not too big for the leaders, ZPRA and ZANLA who must be fair and appreciate what this man has done. As a church we have not tried to communicate with the Kaundas as we feel too little to do that,” said the pastor.

Pastor Mabhena said since Kaunda was a Christina, in bestowing him his honour, he must be allowed to preach.

“Let him come preach then afterwards give him a bull, give him something like what we have seen other leaders being given, for example after giving a speech at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. Such appreciation to say it’s good, he would understand the Bible way. We must talk to him and give him something. We have a lot of cattle here in this country, we can give him a bull. I also have a bull myself and I can give to honour him,” he said.

In 1981, during a five-day state visit to Zimbabwe, the government honoured Kaunda by naming a road, Kenneth Kaunda Avenue, in central Harare after him.

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