Kenneth David Kaunda won the Zambian elections to become the first president of an independent republic. He went into office on 24 October 1964.
Under his presidency, Kaunda allowed liberation movements from all around Africa, to use Zambia as a launch pad for their liberation struggles.
Kaunda was awarded the Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo, the highest that a country can bestow on its citizens of foreign nationals by the South African government, in 2002.
He was also awarded the Ubuntu Award by the National Heritage Council in 2007 for his role in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
Source: South African History Online