M7 to Kaunda: I’m working with Obote’s son
President Yoweri Museveni has told Zambia‘s founding father, Kenneth Kaunda that he is working with former president Dr. Milton Obote’s son, Jimmy Akena.
Kaunda was a very close friend of Obote and Akena grew up in Zambia after the overthrow of his father in 1985 by a military junta.
Museveni expressed great admiration for 92 year-old K Kaunda, the founding father of Zambia telling his guests and journalists, “You are in the presence of a great man. If Mwalimu Nyerere and this man had not stood firm, history would be very different today. What you call history is our current affairs,” Museveni said shortly after arriving at the 40 acre State Lodge facility where the retired former president stays with his family.
President Kaunda who despite his age insisted on welcoming Museveni to his home and even presented him with a bouquet said he was delighted to host Museveni in his home.
Museveni immediately held his hand and walked him slowly back to the house.
“He is my father. I’m a great follower of these old men. I’m their disciple,” Museveni said before the two leaders had a warm conversation about Kaunda’s retirement and the country’s independence.
The President asked his host if he rears any animals; goats or anything on his vast land before both leaders had a hearty laugh.
He consoled the former freedom fighter on the death of his wife Betty Kaunda and took time off to pay his respects at her grave nearby.
On his return, he had a piece of grass that he had plucked along the way as he returned to the house and asked Mzee Kaunda if he knew what the grass was for.
The two leaders talked cows and grass thatches like father and son.
Shortly after Museveni introduced Hon. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem to Kaunda as the son of Gen. Tito Lutwa Okello, immediately bringing another smile to Kaunda’s face.
Museveni also told him, he is working with the son of former President Milton Obote alongside that of Gen. Tito Okello.
He later invited Mzee Kaunda to come to Uganda just to rest and relax.
“I want these people to know that African people fought for their freedom. By I963 when the Organisation of African Union was started in Addis Ababa, Zambia had not attained its independence. When Zambia got independence, Mwalimu and Mzee here spearheaded the fight in the south. Zambia suffered because the routes for goods were closed forcing them to use the hell run routes from Tanzania,” Museveni said.
Earlier in the morning, President Museveni now in Zambia on a two day state visit paid his respects to the country’s founding fathers and leaders, laying wreaths at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka in a colourful ceremony marking Zambia’s 52 Independence anniversary.
The President, accompanied by his host President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, also visited the Presidential Burial Site National Monument at Embassy Park in Lusaka where former President Fredrick Chiluba, President Levy Mwanawasa and President Micheal Sata are laid to rest to pay his respects
The President later joined the nation at State House for the National celebrations.