The Rhodesia Herald, January 13, 1972
LUSAKA. – The situation in Southern Africa was so explosive that it warranted international action to put an end to oppression and injustice, said President Kaunda yesterday.
However, Zambia’s role could be little more than that of providing assistance to the black people involved in the struggle to liberate their own countries, he said.
Speaking at the opening of Parliament, President Kaunda condemned the Anglo-Rhodesian settlement terms as unrealistic and negative and attacked Western nations for their support for colonial regime in Africa.
He said, however, that the white community should be assured of its future and help should be given to everyone to work out a programme of practical action leading to majority rule.
The main theme of his two-hour speech concerned domestic issues.
Addressing a house which included for the first time two opposition parties, the president stressed the need for peace and unity.
“We cannot afford to lose time in political bickering,” he said, possibly referring to constant criticism from former Vice President, Mr Simon Kapwepwe, now leader and sole parliamentary representative of the United Progressive Party.
Dr Kaunda called for hard work and self-reliance from the country’s 4,5 million. People, in the face of reduced resources caused by falling copper prices and the effect of the Mufulira mine disaster.
Announcing Zambia’s second four-year national development plan, he emphasised that this would be a period of consolidation to build on the “phenomenal” achievement of the first seven years of independence.
Major emphasis is laid on reconstruction of the rural areas in an attempt to cut the rising gap between the standard of living of urban and rural dwellings.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
- Zambia claimed its independence at a time when Zimbabwe was far away from claiming its independence from British rule.
- The first Zambian president, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, was in good relationship with Zimbabwean nationalists fighting to topple the Ian Smith regime that ruled Zimbabwe under the colonial name Rhodesia.
- The support from Zambia given to the liberation movements of southern Africa is a strong theme in Zambian history and national identity.
- Kaunda played a significant role to ensure that other African countries also gained their independence from colonialists.
- Kaunda’s administration allowed liberation movements from Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to establish military bases, training camps, refugee centres and administrative offices in Zambia.