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Zambian ex-president Kaunda in hospital

Dr Kenneth Kaunda/AFP

Dr Kenneth Kaunda/AFP

Zambia, Feb 4 – Zambia’s founding president Kenneth Kaunda has been hospitalised for an undisclosed ailment, his family said Wednesday.

Kaunda, 90, was admitted to Lusaka Trust Hospital on Tuesday.

His daughter Cheswa Silwizya confirmed that “the old man is in hospital” declining to reveal the nature of his hospitalisation.

“He is doing well and on the road to recovery,” she told AFP.

“I can’t speak about what the problem is. That can only be said by the doctors,” she said.

Kaunda was Zambia’s president for 27 years, after the country gained independence from British colonial rule in 1964.

Initially a popular leader, he became increasingly autocratic and banned all opposition parties, but eventually ceded power in the first multi-party elections in 1991.

While in power he hosted many of the movements fighting for independence or black equality in other countries around the region, including South Africa’s African National Congress.

Later in life he regained stature as one of Africa’s political giants, helping mediate crises in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

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Newly-elected President Edgar Lungu — who took office last month after winning a vote to succeed Michael Sata who died in October — visited Kaunda in hospital on Tuesday.

Known as “KK”, Kaunda was also hospitalised in February last year.

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