President Halimah Yacob sends condolences after former Zambian president dies

Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda during an event in South Africa on April 27, 2004.
Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda during an event in South Africa on April 27, 2004.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob has written to President Edgar Lungu and the people of Zambia to express her condolences following the death of the country's former president Kenneth Kaunda.

Dr Kaunda, independent Zambia's first president, died on June 17 at the age of 97.

In her letter dated Thursday (June 24), Madam Halimah said: "Dr Kaunda was a remarkable statesman who will be remembered for his role as a champion for African independence. He steered the development of a modern Commonwealth, advocating equality and peace in a tumultuous post-colonial period."

She added that Dr Kaunda had also supported Singapore during its early years of independence. As a fellow leader of a newly independent country, he had many interactions with the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, both being active participants in Commonwealth meetings.

In 1971, Dr Kaunda, who was then Zambia's president, had visited Singapore during the inaugural Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which was held here.