African peace activist visits Scotland

Lord Provost George Grubb with Dr Kenneth Kaunda
Lord Provost George Grubb with Dr Kenneth Kaunda

By Cara Sulieman

A LEGENDARY peace activist who battled for independence and equality in Africa arrived in Edinburgh yesterday at the start of a five-day visit to the capital.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the former president of Zambia, was welcomed to the city by Lord Provost George Grubb, who is keen to develop relations between the two countries.

Members of the Scotland-Zambia Association joined Kaunda, who played a crucial part in southern Africa’s liberation struggle.

Lord Provost George Grubb said: “It was a tremendous honour to welcome HE Dr Kenneth Kaunda to Edinburgh.

Iconic name

“Having spent some time in Zambia myself, I am only too aware of Dr Kaunda’s important legacy in his homeland. As Zambia’s founding president, he is an iconic name in Africa for his leadership in the struggle for independence.

“We have a great tradition between Scotland and Zambia and I think many of us would like to see that developed further with a Scotland-Zambia partnership.”

And Dr Kaunda was pleased to be in the country, thanking the country for their help in the fight against apartheid.

He said: “Lord Provost, thank you for giving me this opportunity to pay this call on you. Scotland means so much to us in Zambia, and this city has produced so many wonderful people.

“Scottish people fought against apartheid on our behalf and I cannot thank them sufficiently. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful.”

The first President

At the end of their meeting, the Lord Provost presented Dr Kaunda with a gift on behalf of the City of Edinburgh.

Dr Kaunda is best known for his work in making Zambia an independent country, and served as the first President from 1964 to 1991.

After he retired, he set up the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Foundation – an organisation that is dedicated to the establishment of peace and conflict resolution in Africa.

He now concentrates his time on HIV/Aids work on the continent, an issue that is close to his heart.

Church of Scotland

Dr Kaunda’s own son died of Aids during the first wave of the disease across the continent, and he vowed that he would do everything he could to prevent other children from going through the same.

He is the son of Church of Scotland Minister David Kaunda, and will be speaking to the Kirk later this week about HIV/Aids and poverty.