LUSAKA — Women organizations in Zambia have commended President Edgar Lungu on his assurance that he will choose a female as his running mate ahead of general elections this year, state media reported on Monday.
On Saturday, the Zambian leader said his running mate for the August 11 polls would be a woman because he was an advocate of gender equality as enshrined in the country’s constitution.
The requirement for a running mate is one of the new clauses in the country’s amended constitution.
“Indeed, our president has been advocating equal rights as witnessed in how many women have been appointed in decision-making positions. We are delighted to know and be assured that he wants a woman to be his running mate,” Beauty Katebe, the executive director of the Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL), is quoted saying by the Times of Zambia.
“This gives us more power to advocate women’s rights because we have a leader who is championing this,” she added.
She added that the appointment of a female running mate will also improve the acceptance of women in high leadership positions, thereby paving the way for more women to attain even higher levels of leadership.
Young Women’s Christian Association Copperbelt coordinator Sharon Chisanga also commended the Zambian leader over the decision, adding that the country was lucky to have a leader who had a heart to champion women’s influence in leadership roles.
The Zambia leader made history after winning last year’s elections when he appointed the country’s first female vice-president.