President Yoweri Museveni has expressed great admiration for 92 year-old Kenneth Kaunda, the founding father of Zambia, telling his guests and journalists “you are in the presence of a great man.”
“If Mwalimu Nyerere and this man (referring to Kaunda) had not stood firm, history would be very different today. What you call history is our current affairs,” Museveni added. Museveni is in Zambia to celebrate the country’s independence day.
“He is my father. I’m a great follower of these old men. I’m their disciple,” Museveni said before the two leaders had a warm conversation about Kaunda’s retirement and the country’s independence.
Kaunda, despite his age, insisted on welcoming Museveni to his home and even presented him with a bouquet.
Museveni introduced Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem to Kaunda as the son of Gen. Tito Lutwa Okello, immediately bringing another smile to Kaunda’s face.
Museveni also told Kaunda that he is working with the son of former President Milton Obote as well as that of Gen. Okello. He later invited Mzee Kaunda to come to Uganda “just to rest and relax.”
“I want these people to know that African people fought for their freedom. By I963 when the Organisation of African Union was started in Addis Ababa, Zambia had not attained its independence. When Zambia got independence, Mwalimu and Mzee here spearheaded the fight in the south. Zambia suffered because the routes for goods were closed forcing them to use the hell run routes from Tanzania,” Museveni said.
Museveni asked his host if he rears any animals on his vast land as both leaders had a hearty laugh. He consoled the former freedom fighter on the death of his wife Betty Kaunda and took time off to pay his respects at her grave nearby.