The Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) has welcomed the appointment of appointment of Ms Inonge Wina as the first female Vice President of Zambia. In a statement released to the media by the Board Chairperson, Beauty Katebe, the ZNWL said that being a product of the Women’s Movement where she served as Chairperson of NGOCC and YWCA at different times, the organisation had no doubt that she will ably ensure that issues affecting women and children are addressed by the Patriotic Front Government.
Below is the full statement
The Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) would like to congratulate his Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu on his election as Zambia’s sixth President in a highly contested race of 11 candidates. We applaud his effort of offering an olive branch to the losing candidates to work with him in developing the nation. Indeed his election to the Zambian Presidency is a show of the confidence that the people have in him as a leader and the Patriotic Front Party and we hope he will be able to meet their aspirations. Owing to the vast experience that he has acquired having served the nation in different portfolio, it is our hope that President Lungu and his team will deliver.
The ZNWL commends his Excellency for making history by appointing the first female Vice President of Zambia Ms Inonge Wina. ZNWL is delighted by this development especially that Ms. Wina has excelled in the PF Government where she served as Minister of Gender and Child Development and Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. Being a product of the Women’s Movement where she served as Chairperson of NGOCC and YWCA at different times, we have no doubt that she will ably ensure that issues affecting women and children are addressed by the Patriotic Front Government. Ms. Wina is a woman of integrity with vast experience. She will do well in not only balancing the needs of all the citizens as a woman and mother, but also provide the necessary counsel and wisdom to the Presidency as she is a senior citizen. Further, Ms. Wina has shown leadership in the manner she handled the wrangles in the Patriotic Front during the run up to the presidential election where she played an instrumental role as national chairperson.
We would like to further urge the President to ensure that the eight people that he will nominate as Members of Parliament will include women, considering that there are very few women in Parliament. We are convinced that there are many able and qualified women in the country that can ably take up these positions.
Reflecting on the 2015 Presidential election, we observed that there were many issues which came out which we feel that the President should urgently prioritize and address. Among the factors that emerged and need to urgently be addressed is the issue of tribalism and regionalism, which the just ended election exposed through the subsequent voting patterns in the different parts of the country. Tribalism and regionalism should not be allowed to continue in a country which has more than 72 tribes as many people in Zambia are linked to two or more tribes either through intermarriages or have parents who come from two different regions of the country. As women and mothers, we wouldn’t want the peace we have been enjoying in the past 50 years as a country to be disturbed if tribalism and regionalism is left unchecked. We want the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ to continue prevailing in this country.
We are happy that President Lungu has identified this challenge of tribalism and regionalism and has promised to take a leading role in fighting this cancer as stated in his inaugural speech. We however would like the President to take a step further by embracing all Zambians, even those in the regions that did not vote for him in order to foster unity and peace. We call upon all stakeholders in Zambia to fight tribalism or regionalism as this has reached levels where it can no longer be ignored.
It is gratifying that the President has prioritized the enactment of the new constitution which we feel will also be an answer in addressing women’s under representation in decision making positions. We urge him to ensure that the process is expedited so that the 2016 elections are held under a new constitution.
We further thank the people of Zambia for continuing to set a shining example of a true democracy in the manner they conduct themselves during the election. We believe that all the developmental challenges we face as a nation are not insurmountable and can be overcome through collective dedication, accountability and unity of purpose.
Beauty Katebe (Ms.)