It is appalling that the UPND in their usual desperate schemes are now maneuvering to use the funeral of our Founding President His Excellency Dr Kenneth David Kaunda to gain some political mileage.

The latest decision to abruptly u-turn on the party’s earlier position to suspend election campaigns in honour of Dr Kaunda speaks to the UPND’s clear lack of strategy and their desperation.

The nation would like to believe that Hakainde Hichilema and his partners made the decision to suspend the campaigns voluntarily but how do they turn around within a space of few days to change positions?

We know that his decision to return to the campaign circuit is by no means a coincidence. It is meant to take advantage of Dr Kaunda’s funeral programme to seek political capital. This is very synonymous with Hichilema and the UPND.

The UPND attempted, albeit, unsuccessfully to hijack the Mwanawasa funeral to gain political mileage, they equally attempted to do the same with the Sata funeral.

We also know that the UPND is talking to some people close to the Kaunda’s hoping to influence the family to go against an agreed state programme for the funeral of Dr Kaunda. We appeal to the greater Kaunda family to disown such elements and appreciate that as much as Dr Kaunda was their Father, Grand Father and Great Grandfather, he was a property of the state of Zambia, Africa and the world.

It therefore follows that state protocols and procedures will have to dictate on where and how he is buried and how the entire funeral programme will run. Infact, some of these processes are provided for by law as enshrined in our constitution.

Adopting an antagonist approach as suggested by the UPND over the matter risks creating an embarrassing situation for the entire nation which should be avoided at all costs. The schemes by the UPND to use the funeral for political gains goes against our culture and traditions governing funerals. We need to embrace Ubuntu as we mourn our Founding President full of love and respect.

In conclusion, the UPND should not have anything to do with Dr Kaunda’s funeral programme. Accusing the PF of wanting to benefit from the funeral programme is very insincere on the part of the UPND because Dr Kaunda was beyond partisan politics as he was a Father of the Nation. It is important to allow the state to manage the funeral programme devoid of narrow party partisan politics.

Above all, allow Zambians and the entire globe to mourn and celebrate Dr Kaunda’s life in a dignified manner.

May the Soul of our Founding President, a global icon, a great statesman, a freedom fighter, a great liberation hero rest in eternal peace.


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