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President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and his wife in the Uppsala cathedral

President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and his wife in the Uppsala cathedral during opening service of worship of the WCC Fourth Assembly, Uppsala, Sweden, 1968.

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Kaunda will also be remembered for his role as an anti-colonial fighter who stood up to white minority-ruled South Africa.

He spoke at the World Council of Churches 4th Assembly in Uppsala, Sweden in 1968, and his words are, more than 50 years later, highly applicable to current times.

These are challenging and indeed critical times,” he said. The world is at a crossroads in many respects.”

He spoke about major decisions on direction and objectives that must be made quickly, not only in Zambia but in the world.

We must build a united front, a corrective force to remove the dangerous signs of a divided world,” he said. This, in the final analysis, is a moral issue.”

Kaunda was part of a generation of leaders who liberated the peoples of Africa from their colonial masters. He was vehemently opposed to colonialism, racism, and apartheid. Kaunda was a proponent of peace and justice in Zambia and throughout Africa.

Kenneth David Kaunda was born on 28 April 1924, the youngest of eight children of a Church of Scotland minister at Lubwa mission in the remote north of the country.

Known also by his African name of "Buchizya" - the unexpected one - he did menial jobs to earn school fees after his father's death. He worked as a teacher and a mine welfare officer and entered politics in 1949 as a founding member of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress.

Kenneth Kaunda’s address to the Uppsala assembly

WCC member churches in Zambia