Former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Judge Edwin Cameron. FILE PHOTO: Shayne Robinson/SAPA

PRETORIA - Five former African heads of state will be in Zambia as the country's independence leader and former long-time president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, celebrates his 95th birthday this month, the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria said on Tuesday.

The delegation of former presidents is expected to be in Zambia on April 28, when Kaunda turns 95.

The five former leaders, who are part of the African Forum, have confirmed their travel plans to the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria. 

They include 79-year-old former president of Mozambique, Joaquim Alberto Chisano, who will be leading the delegation; 78-year-old former Malawian president, Bakili Muluzi; 93-year-old former president of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi; Botswana's 79-year-old former president Festus Gontebanye Mogae; and Namibia's 82-year-old Hifkipunye Lucas Pohamba.

Zambia's High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba, said the visit will be "historic and a symbolic" recognition of Kaunda's "great contributions to the liberation of Southern Africa".

Mwamba said Lusaka felt "honoured" by the five statesmen's visit as the nation celebrates the birthday of one of its greatest sons.

Kaunda led Zambia for 27 years until he exited in 1991.

African News Agency (ANA)