Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

1988 Zambian voters have granted their founding father, President Kenneth Kaunda, a fresh five-year term in office, according to official polling results. Kaunda has captured more than 93 per cent of the ballots in the polls. At least six Cabinet ministers have been rejected. But Kaunda himself, a former mission teacher, remains untarnished.

Most Zambians believe he has done well in freeing their country from the kind of civil strife that has plagued other African nations. But in his term of office, one of the first tasks confronting him is the massive $5 billion (Dh18.35 billion) foreign debts, which is sapping 40 per cent of export income. Kaunda, 64, who led the former British colony of Northern Rhodesia to independence as Zambia in October 24, 1964 was the only presidential challenger.

Other important events

1863 International Committee of the Red Cross is founded in Geneva.

1923 Republic of Turkey is proclaimed, with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as its first president.

1918 Croatian parliament severs all ties with Austria-Hungary.

1936 General Bakr Sidqi overthrows Iraqi government.

1987 Woody Herman, American jazz musician, singer and bandleader dies.

1998 Around 60 young people die when fire engulfed an overcrowded Halloween disco in Sweden.

2000 Ebrahim Rugova claims victory after the first democratic elections in Kosovo.

2002 A fire sweeps through a building in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, killing at least 60 people.

2006 A Nigerian airliner crashes after taking off from the airport in Abuja, killing 96 passengers.

2008 A 6.4-magnitude earthquake in southwestern Pakistan kills more than 300 people.

2013 Turkey opens the world’s first underwater rail link between two continents, connecting Asia and Europe.