Secretary to Zambia’s founding father and first president late Kenneth Kaunda, Dr. Gloria Sleep has died, authorities confirm.

She was the late President’s Secretary from the time he became Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia in January 1964.

She recently said of Dr. Kaunda after his passing in June 2021:

“He was a huge part of my life, and I will always hold a special place in my heart as I mourn with his family and all Zambians. While we mourn let us celebrate the life and achievements of this remarkable man.

I did not apply for the position as Secretary to President Kaunda. I had been Secretary to the outgoing Minister of Native Affairs in the Northern Rhodesian government but was on leave out of the country for some months until January 1964 when President Kaunda became Prime Minister. On my return I duly reported to the Establishment Officer in the Secretariat to be told that my new position would be Secretary to the Prime Minister.

This was a senior position usually occupied by single ladies without family responsibilities, so I was rather surprised. When I first walked into his office, I was impressed by this man full of charm who radiated energy and enthusiasm which brushed off on all who met him.

It was an exciting time to be part of this team of his very loyal staff. We all had the utmost respect for him, and this was reciprocated in the way he treated us as his family with care and compassion.”

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