James Duddridge confuses Zambia and Zimbabwe at Kenneth Kaunda's funeral. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia and Reuters Photograph:( Others )
James Duddridge, the UK's minister for Africa, confused Zambia and Zimbabwe while giving a speech at the funeral of Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding president
What was supposed to be a heartfelt speech at the funeral of Zambia’s founding president, turned out to be a nightmare for UK's minister.
James Duddridge, the UK's minister for Africa, confused Zambia and Zimbabwe while giving a speech at the funeral of Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding president.
Kaunda served as the country’s president from 1964 after the British rule ended in 1991. Respected throughout the country for his fight against colonial rule, Kaunda was one of Africa’s last surviving liberation leaders.
Talking about Kaunda, Duddridge said he was a "great man, an African hero, and a highly respected friend of the United Kingdom who helped end apartheid in South Africa and was firmly committed to the Commonwealth."
"Today the United Kingdom mourns Dr Kaunda’s passing alongside his family, the people of Zimbabwe and indeed the wider world," he added without realising his mistake.
Not just this, he also struggled to pronounce the name of Zambia’s present leader, Edgar Lungu.
A Minister for Africa who doesn't know which country is mourning between Zambia and Zimbabwe and yet he's on Zambian soil delivering a speech citing Zimbabwe 💀🥴— Martha (@AfricasMartha) July 2, 2021
His confusion has led to massive criticism as some social media users highlighted this as proof of colonial-era attitude in British government officials towards African countries.