Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda on Friday urged leaders in Africa to rise up to stop xenophobic attacks that have rocked South Africa.
Kaunda, one of the icons of the struggle for independence in Africa, said there was need for all people to stand up and fight xenophobia which he said was not in the African culture.
“I wish to urge the leadership not only in South Africa but in Africa as a continent to stop these barbaric attacks.
“They should also come up with deliberate programmes to inculcate a sense of ubuntu (humanity) in our citizens.’’
The 95-year-old Kaunda said he wondered how Africa would be able to achieve the goal of uniting itself if such barbaric acts like xenophobia were allowed to prevail.
Kaunda, who ruled Zambia from 1964 to 1991, said he was shocked and terrified to see the heinous and horrific incidences where blacks in South Africa were raising against their fellow blacks.
“I never imagined I would see such days in my life. I wish to urge the South African leadership to reflect and think soberly and stop these inhuman and barbaric attacks on fellow brothers and sisters.”
According to Kaunda, the people of South Africa should remember that the same people they were treating with cruelty were the same people who were comrades in arms in fighting the brutal Apartheid regime.