32-year-old Yvonne Muntemba is the only female ward councilor in Kabwe District of the Central Province.
Kabwe District has 29 ward councilors.
On the road to becoming David-Ramushu Ward Councilor, Ms. Muntemba, a trained teacher, overcame many challenges ranging from inadequate campaign finances to criticism by fellow women.
She was elected as David-Ramushu Ward Councilor during the 2021 General Election held in August.
Her passion toward contributing to the development of her low-income community motivated her to become a civic leader.
Councilor Muntemba wants to be part of the solution to challenges affecting people in David-Ramushu Ward.
“When you have stayed in a ward and you see that development is not coming you feel like, let me also try and come in to do the needful. We of course have been intimidated, especially that we are women, especially that we don’t have money,” she said in an interview in Kabwe.
The civic leader said challenges did not stop her from becoming a leader in her community.
“I can assure you that I stood with men who had money but the passion for the people motivated us. Of course we had challenges of money and campaign materials but some organisations like NGOCC helped us,” Councilor Muntemba said.
She highlighted her vision for David-Ramushu Ward.
Councilor Muntemba wants to ensure that her ward has a secondary school and clinic in the next five years.
“I have got a vision; I want to be the voice for the voiceless, talking about the youths and women. By the time my five-year term will end we shall have a secondary school and fully fledged clinic in the ward,” she said.
“We don’t have a clinic in David-Ramushu Ward. We don’t have a clinic and people trek to Kasanda and Makululu to access health services, which are far from where they live. So we need a clinic,” she added.
Councilor Muntemba is not under pressure despite working in a council chamber dominated by men.
“I am not under pressure as I serve the people. As I am speaking by now we will have our police post opened soon. We are also clearing drainage in the ward with the help of youths.”
Councilor Muntemba wants to see more women taking up leadership roles.
“We need to have more women to participate in leadership or politics.”
She concluded:”Women are not supporting each other much to be honest if I had not been strong, I was not going to win the elections. I would not have been a councilor today if I didn’t have thick skin.”