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Today in History: Ex-Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda was born

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Today in History: Ex-Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda was born

Kenneth David Kaunda GCIH SCOT was a Zambian politician who served as first president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.

He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from British rule.

Dissatisfied with Harry Nkumbula’s leadership of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress, he broke away and founded the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party (UNIP).

Kenneth Kaunda the former president of Zambia

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Kaunda was the first president of independent Zambia.

In 1973 following tribal and inter-party violence, all political parties except UNIP were banned through an amendment of the constitution after the signing of the Choma Declaration.

At the same time, Kaunda oversaw the acquisition of majority stakes in key foreign-owned companies. The 1973 oil crisis and a slump in export revenues put Zambia in a state of economic crisis.

International pressure forced Kaunda to change the rules that had kept him in power. Multi-party elections took place in 1991, in which Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, ousted Kaunda.

He was briefly strip of Zambian citizenship in 1999, but the decision was overturn the following year.

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