Zambia announces funeral program for late Prez. Image Source: IANS News

Lusaka, June 22 : The Zambian government has announced the funeral program of the country's first President Kenneth Kaunda, who passed away on June 17, which will see processions being held in the country's 10 provinces.

Kaunda, 97, passed away at the military Main Soko Hospital here. Although the cause of his death has not been disclosed, Kaunda's office said earlier this month that preliminary tests indicated that he had pneumonia.

The government had announced a 21-day mourning period.

In a statement on Monday, Vice President Inonge Wina said funeral processions, to commence on Wednesday, will see the remains of the former President be taken around provincial capitals.

She said that the processions will be held under strict Covid-19 regulations.

"However, the entire procession including the church service will be carried live on TV. This arrangement will enable millions of viewers at home to follow the proceedings and have a closer view of the remains of the late president," she said.

The provincial programs include route lining where residents will be able to line up at designated routes to view the cortege and pay their last respects, she added.

Wina further said a state funeral will be held on July 2 at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

The former president will be buried on July 7.

Kaunda, born in 1924, led Zambia's independence struggle and served as the first president of the country from 1964 to 1991.

Since his retirement from politics, he dedicated his time to the fight against HIV/AIDS through his foundation, the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation.

During the commemoration of this year's Africa Day, the African Union honoured him with a special award for the role he played and the immense contribution he made to the liberation of Africa and its people, according to Zambia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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