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Lusaka – Zambia’s new President Michael Sata on Tuesday renamed the country’s three main airports after liberation heroes, including the country’s first president Kenneth Kaunda.
Capital city Lusaka’s airport will now carry Kaunda’s name, while the airport in Livingstone, near the world-famous Victoria Falls, will be named after early nationalist leader Harry Nkumbula, Sata said, on only his fifth day in office.
The airport in the mining town of Ndola will be named after Simon Kapwepwe, the country’s first vice president, he added.
Sata said the new names were meant as a gesture of reconciliation among Zambian political parties. Kaunda is regarded as the father of the nation, but fell out politically with Nkumbula and Kapwepwe.
“I said it earlier that we have to reconcile with the past,” Sata told journalists. “This country is what it is because of the past.”
Sata once served in Kaunda’s government, but quit when the country introduced multi-party politics in 1991.
He formed his own party, the Patriotic Front, and won the presidential election last week, the second democratic transfer of power in Zambia since independence from Britain in 1964.