COLONEL Panji Kaunda says the Kaunda family will give itself one year to discuss with government whether KK’s remains will remain at Embassy Park or be reburied next to her wife Betty.
He says the Dr Kaunda family is grateful to Zambians for the befitting manner in which they mourned the founding president.
In an interview, Col Panji said the family was still mourning and could not discuss any matter relating to the burial of Dr Kaunda.
“We have decided to give ourselves at least one year to sit down and decide the way forward. We cannot bury him today and tomorrow we start discussing on what we should do on matters relating to the burial place. It cannot be traditionally prudent,” he said. “So we shall
disperse, give ourselves one year. Then at the first anniversary of the old man, when we shall be meeting, then we discuss the future of this burial issue.”
Col Panji said the Kaundas were still mourning and that they should be given time to recover.
“We want to recover, get our tempers down and everything in place. One year with sober minds we will come back and discuss the issue of where we should take him or whether he stays there or he joins his wife or the wife comes back to him,” he said. “Whatever options will be given we shall discuss with government and then government will guide. As a family we must sit back and mourn our father properly and come back and give the country the way forward.”
And Col Panji thanked Zambians and various political parties for the manner in which they mourned Dr Kaunda.
“I would like to thank Zambians because of the manner in which they mourned the old man. What was amazing was that children and the old all came to mourn their grandfather. My role now is just to thank the Zambians and the message that we have been preaching together with the Church of peace is key. That’s the message that the father has left us with,” he said. “I appeal to the Church to continue preaching the message of peace so that those of us who hear must hear. We don’t want to hear say ‘Mr Miti cannot stay in North Western because he is Ngoni or Chewa.”
Col Panji said Zambians should not be harassed based on their tribe.
He said the family is still and will remain united.
Col Panji said when a tree falls birds scatter in different directions but they later settle.
“I normally give an example of Kachere tree, when it falls the birds fly away for safety but afterwards, they come together and continue living together. When somebody dies even in your family there are always different opinions on issues to do with burial,” he explained. “Others will say we take him to the village, others will say we take him to Chingwere. So there are all these things. Every funeral has issues and ours is no different because we have different opinions. But when we make a decision as a group, things must be obeyed by everybody.”
Col Panji said the court issue, initiated by Kaweche Kaunda, was thrown out by the judge and that it was not an issue anymore.
He said the issue of Dr Kaunda’s burial cannot be discussed with emotions adding that people handle emotions differently.