Kenneth Kaunda was a teacher, a politician, and the first president of the Republic of Zambia- a position he served between 1964 to 1991.
Holding the most powerful seat in the country might have had its peaks but after falling from power, Kenneth Kaunda, had the most troublesome years that followed until he eventually announced his retirement from politics.
Here is a look at Kenneth Kaunda’s net worth, his early life and education, his political career and presidency, and his death.
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Kenneth Kaunda’s net worth
According to several online sources, Kenneth Kaunda’s net worth was estimated at between $1 million and $5 million.
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Kenneth Kaunda’s early life and education
The late Kenneth Kaunda was born on 28 April 1924 at Lubwa Mission, Chinsali. He was the youngest of eight children and he was born to parents who were both teachers.
His father passed on when Kaunda was young and the family was left under the care of his mother.
After receiving his education, Kenneth Kaunda followed in his parents' footsteps and became a teacher too. He first began his career in Northern Rhodesia (currently Zambia) before moving to Tanganyika (current Tanzania) in the mid-1940s.
During his teaching career, Kaunda taught at various schools including Lubwa and Mufulira. His background as a teacher would help solidify his later career in politics and leadership.
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Kenneth Kaunda’s political career and presidency
Kenneth Kaunda’s net worth was majorly built from his career as a politician, and later on as the first president of the independent Zambia.
In 1949, he officially launched his political career after joining Northern Rhodesian African National Congress which was later renamed to Africa National Congress (ANC.)
He served as the party’s Secretary General from 1953 while Harry Nkumbula served as the party’s president. The pair were sentenced to two months in prison in 1955 for distributing dissident literature to Africans.
The next coming years would see Kaunda and Nkumbula differ in their political stance and Kaunda went on to form the Zambian African National Congress in 1958. The party was however banned in 1959, and Kaunda was imprisoned for nine months.
During his imprisonment, some of Kenneth Kaunda’s allies including Mainza Chona formed the United National Independence Party (UNIP) in 1959 and Chona was elected the first president of UNIP but when Kenneth Kaunda was released from prison in January 1960, he took over the presidency of the party.
As the president of UNIP, Kaunda led several strategic armed resistance strategies to frustrate the colonizers including civil disobedience.
In January 1964, Kaunda’s UNIP won the general election and Kaunda became the first prime minister of Zambia. When the country gained independence on 24th October 1964, Kenneth Kaunda became the first president.
Between 1964 to 1991, Kaunda ruled as the president of Zambia. His rule was judged with mixed critics, but over the years, he remained committed to promoting the spirit of Pan-Africanism.
After bowing to pressure and allowing multi-partyism in Zambia in 1991, Kaunda stepped down from power as Frederick Chiluba took over as the second president of Zambia.
His first years after being ousted out of power were difficult as he kept clashing with Chiluba and his party.
In June 1998, Kaunda announced his retirement from UNIP’s leadership and politics in general. He spent his retirement years contributing to charitable works and fighting against HIV/AIDS.
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Kenneth Kaunda’s death
On 17th June 2021, Kenneth Kaunda passed on at the age of 97 years old while undergoing treatment at the Maina Soko Military Hospital. He was laid to rest on 7th July 2021 at the Presidential Burial Site.
Among the many things that the founding father of Zambia will be remembered for is his trademark green safari suit, which is popularly known across Africa as the Kaunda suit.
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