THE Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) says democracy and good governance should start from political parties for it to be entrenched at national level.
Executive director Leah Mitaba says the UPND had set the tone for other opposition parties to follow as the country prepares for August 12 2021 general elections.
However, Mitaba says the UPND had failed to meet even the minimum 30 per cent representation of women in its National Management Committee (NMC) by settling for less that 26 per cent of women.
Mitaba congratulated the UPND for successfully holding its national convention at which leaders were elected.
“As the largest opposition in the country, we believe that the UPND has set the tone for other opposition parties to follow as the country prepares for August 12, 2021 general elections. Democracy and good governance should start from political parties for it to be entrenched at national level,” she said. “Intraparty democracy should not be an option but mandatory if our country is fully going to embrace democratic principles and values.”
She said the election of 70 members of the National Management Committee (NMC) from across all provinces was a positive demonstration of the party’s commitment to original ideals of the founding leaders to promote ‘One Zambia One Nation’.
“However we are drawn aback by the low numbers of women that were elected into the NMC. Having only 18 women out of the 70 NMC members is a serious drawback to promoting gender equality and the participation of women in politics,” she said.
Mitaba said evidently, UPND had failed to meet even the minimum 30 per cent representation of women in its NMC by settling for less that 26 per cent of women.
She said this is a sad development.
Mitaba noted that Zambia was state party to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) gender protocol on 50 per cent participation of women in decision making.
“At international level the country has further agreed to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and is regularly peer reviewed. These and other gender protocols should be adhered to by all political parties as they elect leaders,” she said.
Mitaba appealed to all political parties that as they hold their conventions, to be abreast with and implement regional and international gender protocols that support the participation of women in politics and decision making positions.
She urged political parties to provide a level playing field for the adoption of more women as candidates in the August general elections.
Mitaba said it was saddening to note that after 56 years of Zambia’s independence there are less than 30 per cent of women in parliament and less than eight per cent in councils.