Kenneth Kaunda, one of the pioneers of Africa’s liberation struggle and freedom from European colonialist powers, died last week.
So many epitaphs have been written about the deceased African leader over the last couple of days that it would be totally superfluous to add any more elegy notes to the long list of commemorative comments about his passing.
There is a noteworthy episode, among many major chapters of his almost centenary existence of casting the future of the African continent, related to Mozambique in which Kaunda played a leading that role.
Unlike Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe radicalism, Kaunda was a pragmatist who engaged in dialogue with both sides of the fence, either with the South African apartheid regime or with the Portuguese government in the last years of colonial presence in Mozambique.
It is common knowledge that Kaunda was sympathetic, a comprehensive roadmap of a negotiated Mozambique independence, hence known as the “Original Lusaka Accord”, that was devised by top Portuguese politicians, in conjunction with Frelimo top cadres, three years before the 25th April 1974 revolution.
The concept of in-depth Mozambique independence negotiation collapsed when the communist hijacked the Portuguese armed forces uprising.
In the years thereafter, under Kenneth Kaunda’s presidency, Zambia continued playing a moderating role in the divide of Southern African continent nation’s rivalries and opposite interests, a mission of arbitrator that he was called to continue performing with diligence even when he was no longer chief of state.