Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding president and liberation hero, has died aged 97, his son Kambarage said on Wednesday.

Kaunda’s death comes days after reports that he was admitted at the Maina Soko Military Hospital in the capital, Lusaka and was treated for pneumonia from Monday.

Kaunda ruled Zambia from 1964 when the Southern African nation won its independence from Britain, until 1991.

“I am sad to inform (members) we have lost Mzee. Let’s pray for him,” Kambarage said on the late president’s Facebook page.

Kaunda will be remembered more for his role as an anti-colonial fighter who stood up to white minority rule in Southern Africa.