Hundreds of people (Friday) attended the funeral of wife to Zambia’s first president Kenneth Kaunda after she died in Zimbabwe last week aged 83.
The funeral service was incident free unlike last time when it was charactarised by violence by PF cadres who wanted to beat-up UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema.
During a requiem service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross attended by acting President Alexander Chikwanda, vice President Guy Scott, ministers, former president Rupiah Banda, opposition leaders, diplomats and people from all walks of life, Dr Kaunda in his tribute to his late wife read on his behalf by Pius Kasutu described her late wife as a pillar.
In his moving tribute, first republican President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda described her wife’s death on 19th September, 2012 in Zimbabwe were she had gone to visit her daughter Musata as very unexpected.
He also described his companionship with his wife of 66 years as a fruitful journey.
The first president recalled how his marriage to Mama Betty Kaunda was destined to be when his mother Helen Kaunda in 1928 assisted in the birth of a baby who would later turn out to be her daughter in law in 1946.
Dr. Kaunda recalled how President Michael Sata’s father in 1946 in Mpika acted as the go-between in his marriage negotiations for Mama Betty.
Mama Betty Kaunda who was born on 17th November 1928 will be put to rest today at the Kaunda farm Estate near State Lodge in Lusaka.
Earlier, police officers almost caused commotion when UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema arrived for the service.
The police wanted to block the UPND leader from using the main entrance so that he could go through the small east point entry to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross but he refused and used the main arena that was being used by every one.
There was some commotion as he made his way in, accompanied by UPND tight security, as every one wanted to have a glance on Mr. Hichilema.