LUSAKA — Zambia’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, has been hospitalised for an undisclosed ailment, his family said on Wednesday.

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Former president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda speaks during the funeral ceremony for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Qunu on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS

Former president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda speaks during the funeral ceremony for former South African president Nelson Mandela in Qunu on December 15 2013. Picture: REUTERS

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Mr Kaunda, 90, was admitted to Lusaka Trust Hospital on Tuesday.

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His daughter Cheswa Silwizya confirmed that “the old man is in hospital” declining to reveal the nature of his hospitalisation.

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“He is doing well and on the road to recovery,” she said.

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“I can’t speak about what the problem is. That can only be said by the doctors,” she said.

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Mr Kaunda was Zambia’s president for 27 years, after the country gained independence from British colonial rule in 1964.

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Initially a popular leader, he became increasingly autocratic and banned all opposition parties, but eventually ceded power in the first multi-party elections in 1991.

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While in power he hosted many of the movements fighting for independence or black equality in other countries around the region, including SA’s African National Congress.

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Later in life he regained stature as one of Africa’s political giants, helping mediate crises in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

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Newly elected President Edgar Lungu — who took office last month after winning a vote to succeed Michael Sata who died in October — visited Mr Kaunda in hospital on Tuesday.

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Known as “KK”, Mr Kaunda was also hospitalised in February last year.

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AFP