Lusaka, April 26, 2019, ZANIS---Former Malawian President Bakili Muluzi has described Zambian First President Kenneth Kaunda as an icon of peace and development in Africa.

Dr Muluzi told ZANIS in an exclusive interview that Africa is where it is today due to the immense contributions made by Dr Kaunda and that it is only fitting that the continent celebrates his 95th birthday.




The former Malawian leader said this upon arrival at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka at about 12:40 hours aboard Ethiopian Airways.

ZANIS reports that Dr Muluzi was received by Zambia's fourth President Rupiah Banda, Foreign Affairs Minister, Joseph Malanji, Malawian High Commissioner to Zambia, senior government and Malawian High Commission officials.

And Foreign Affairs Minister, Joseph Malanji said government is satisfied with the arrangements put in place for the visits of Africa's former heads of state to celebrate Dr Kaunda's 95th birthday.

Mr Malanji said government attaches great importance to the event and confirmed that President Edgar Lungu will join the former African Heads of State to honour Dr Kaunda.

Dr Muluzi will be among five other former African Heads of State that will participate in celebrating Dr Kaunda’s 95th birthday on Sunday April 28, 2019 and confer an honour on him.

Other former African Heads of State expected in the country are Mozambique's Joacquim Chissano, Botswana's Festus Mogae, Tanzania’s Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba and former Togolese Prime Minister Edem Kodjo.

The former African Heads of State are expected to honour Dr Kenneth Kaunda for his contribution to the liberation and development of Africa.

The former leaders are part of the Africa Forum, an organisation for Africa's elder statesmen tasked to advance the continent's social and economic development through think tanking and using the vast experiences and knowledge.

Dr Kaunda is widely regarded as a legendary pan African leader due to his unwavering efforts and commitment to Africa's liberation, peace and development.

Dr Kaunda, who is also a member of the Africa Forum, has been instrumental in ensuring that African leaders embrace a conversation of peace and not conflict.

The Africa Forum and Dr Kaunda are engaged in defending democratic governance on the continent, advocating for democratic principles and values and to promote peace, security and stability on the African continent.

Dr Kaunda and the former African Heads of State, under the auspices of Africa Forum, have a mission of ensuring that the development integrated agenda of the African Union, (AU) is implemented.

In 2017, the forum was proactive in ensuring that the impasse in Zimbabwe did not deteriorate into a full-fledged war and is currently liaising with the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding various issues affecting the continent.