Speaking to BBC’s Zeinab Badawi during a recent HARDtalk programme, Kaunda conveniently avoided any mention of the banning of Simon Kapwepwe’s United Progressive Party (UPP) during the run up to the Choma declaration of 1973.
Kaunda however claimed that he invited his political opponents in the opposition to form a government of national unity to deal with threats on national security posed by the boer government of South Africa.
“When we were going towards the  elections, I went to see my leader of the then African National Congress. I said, look old man, let’s come together and form a government of the people of Zambia together. And in the end, he agreed. So we went for elections. We won. I made him minister of education, I made him minister of lands,” he said.
“We came together not because we wanted to destroy multi partism, but because we knew that if we didn’t do that, the boers in South Africa would destroy us. I Knew the South Africans were very keen to destroy Zambia.”
Kaunda was however at pains to explain why he was always the only candidate on the ballot paper during one party elections. Presidential ballot papers featured Kaunda and a frog in one party elections of 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1988.
“I was elected by my people. But remember, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula was there, Simon Kapwepwe was there, Reuben Kamanga was there and so many other leaders were there and they were all playing some role in the politics of Zambia,” Kaunda said.
Kaunda also took the opportunity to sing praise songs for the PF government of fellow dictator Micheal Sata and denied that there was poverty in Zambia.
“Are Zambians starving? I am asking you young lady, are Zambians starving today? What is taking place now, young lady, is different from what you are saying. If you look at what government is doing today in terms of agriculture, it is real development.”
Prior to negotiating a one party state with Nkumbula’s ANC, Kaunda banned the UPP which was headed by childhood friend and former vice president Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe whom he imprisoned in 1972 and 1973.
After his release from unlawful detention, government controlled media reported that Kapwepwe had sent people for military training outside the country. He sued the Zambia Broadcasting Services, the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail for libel and won when he proved that they had made false reports.
Just like the PF, the promises Kaunda made to secure Nkumbula’s endorsement of the one party state were all broken and both Kapwepwe and Nkumbula were dribbled at the UNIP congress which preceded the 1978 general elections leaving Kaunda the sole candidate.
Kapwepwe and Nkumbula died miserably in 1980 and 1983 respectively and their contribution to Zambia’s independence and political development has successfully been erased.