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Visit to school by man who made history.

THE first president of Zambia visited children at Coventry's King Henry VIII school this week.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda, aged 81, accompanied fundraiser Jayesh Tailor to pick up a cheque for pounds 300 collected by pupils and staff at the school.

The cash will go toward building a school in the village of Mutakwa, near the Zambian capital of Lusaka.

Dr Kaunda, who was president from 1964-91, joined the youngsters for assembly at the junior school, where he played guitar and sang for them.

He said: "I found this very touching and I'm very impressed. Meeting the headmaster and all the little boys and girls was an amazing experience.

"I am most grateful for the cheque. I want to let them know that this money will be used for exactly what it has been contributed for."

Jayesh Tailor, who works at BVM Medical in Hinckley, said solar-powered generators would be bought for the school.

To contribute to the cause, phone Jayesh on 01455 614555.

King Henry VIII junior school headmaster John Shackleton said of Dr Kaunda's visit: "It is good to have an elder statesman who has been on the world stage, here."

Rise to prominence

In November 1953, Kenneth Kaunda became secretary general of the ANC. He formed the Zambia African National Congress (ZANC) in 1958, which was banned in March 1959.

In January 1960, he was elected president of the newly formed United National Independence Party (UNIP), which replaced the ZANC.

In January 1964, UNIP won the General Election. Mr Kaunda was appointed Prime Minister. On October 24, 1964, he became the first president of independent Zambia.

Mr Kaunda banned all parties except the UNIP following violence during the 1968 elections. In 1972, he made Zambia a one-party state, until he called multi-party elections in 1991.

Mr Kaunda retired from politics after he was accused of involvement in a failed 1997 coup attempt.


D26069_1. GRATEFUL: Kenneth Kaunda with pupils who handed over the cheque. Picture: RICHARD NELMES
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 16, 2005
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