THE Non-Governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has appealed to leaders to provide exemplary leadership when given the opportunity to provide leadership at any level. NGOCC board chairperson Mary Mulenga noted President Edgar Lungu’s dismissal of Margaret Mwanakatwe as finance minister and the revocation of the nomination of Mumbi Phiri as member of parliament on Sunday, describing it as “painful” for the women’s movement.
Mulenga said while the Head of State had the prerogative to appoint and disappoint, the recent reshuffles were without doubt revealing on the Patriotic Front and President Lungu’s commitment to the attainment of gender parity for women in decision-making positions.
“We expected that the Head of State could have replaced the two women with other capable and qualified women,” she said.
“The single decision to revoke the appointment of Ms Mumbi Phiri from Parliament has further reduced the number of women in Parliament. The number of women in Cabinet has also further reduced because of the dismissal of Hon Mwanakatwe.”
Mulenga said Zambia was a signatory to various statutes including the SADC Gender Protocol that requires the 50-50 representation of both women and men in decision-making positions.
“Article 69 of the Republican Constitution is instructive on nominations to Parliament by the President and we quote: “The President may nominate a person referred to in Article 63 (2) (b) where the President considers it necessary to enhance the representation of special interests, skills or gender in the National Assembly’. The decision therefore by the President is without doubt painful for the women’s movement. We wish the Head of State could have replaced the two with other very capable women,” said Mulenga.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to our leaders, both women and men, to provide exemplary leadership when given the opportunity to provide leadership at any level.”