ACTING President Inonge Wina has urged all political parties in Zambia to ensure that they adopt more women at all levels of this year’s General Elections to meet the 50-50 gender parity that is required by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on Gender.
Ms Wina, who is the Republican Vice President, said this year’s elections were very important not only because of the 50 plus one threshold to elect a Republican President but also because of the need to have more women participation.
She was speaking in Livingstone yesterday at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport upon her arrival.
Ms Wina, who was accompanied by Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila, is today (Tuesday) expected to officiate at the Zambia Correctional Service conference at AVANI Victoria Falls Hotel.
“We want more women to be councillors, executive mayors, council chairpersons and Members of Parliament (MPs) in various parts of the country.
“This can happen if political parties adopt more women. It is the responsibility of political parties to ensure that more women are adopted so that they fill the numbers that are required by the SADC protocol which requires that women achieve 50 per cent representation in parliament and in other positions,” she said.
Ms Wina said political parties had the capacity to adopt more women to ensure that women were given more space to participate in the political parties and their country.
“This election will show the commitment of political parties when it comes to gender parity and we will see at the end of the day which political party will have adopted more women so that come 2021 in the next elections, we can meet the 50-50 requirement if we can’t meet this year.
“Southern Province should lead by example. It is here in Southern Province where UPND is intact where we want to see more women adopted on the UPND ticket. In other Provinces where other political parties are dominant, we want to see more women adopted,” she said.
Ms Wina said it was high time the women of Zambia took the lead in the political life of their country and governance of their country.
She was also glad to hear that the Cholera outbreak in Monze and Mazabuka had been contained and hope that the disease would not reoccur because it was preventable.
“The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has informed us that the preparations for this year’s elections are on course.
“Some of you have already visited your polling stations to inspect your particulars to ensure your names and other details are not misspelled and I am urging those who have not yet verified their details to do so,” she said.
Speaking earlier, Southern Province Permanent Secretary Sibanze Simuchoba said the cholera outbreak in Monze and Mazabuka had been contained and that the schools which delayed to open managed to reopen on Monday this week.
“The province is generally stable. The people in the province are now busy harvesting their maize. The season’s crop is already on the market and we expect a good harvest,” Mr Simuchoba said.
Meanwhile, some UPND cadres yesterday almost caused confusion in the central business district of Livingstone as they allegedly wanted to disturb Ms Wina’s convoy as her way from the airport to the Hotel.
But alert police officers, who were stationed at Mukuni Park and near the Post Office, kept vigil of the town centre and ensured that the cadres did not disturb the convoy.