The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has regretted with shock and a sense of deep sorrow the death of Gender Minister Victoria Kalima who died on Monday 11th June 2018 at Maina Soko military Hospital.

And President Lungu has declared a three-day national mourning period for the late Kalima beginning Thursday June 14 to Saturday June 16, 2018.

In a statement, NGOCC Board Chairperson Sarah Longwe stated that the death of Kalima, who was also Kasenengwa PF member of parliament, had robbed the women movement of a voice in Cabinet and Parliament.

“The death of Ms. Kalima, who was also Kasenengwa Member of Parliament (MP), has not only robbed the women’s movement the few female voices in Cabinet and Parliament but the nation at large of a gallant champion of gender equality. During her time as Minister of Gender, Hon. Kalima worked hard to accelerate policy and legal reform to narrow the gender gaps between men, women, boy and girls in the country. It was during her time, as Minister, that the Gender Equity and equality Act (GEEA) was enacted and assented to by President Edgar Lungu,” stated Longwe.

“It is sad that at the time we were celebrating the additional voice of a female Parliamentarian after the Chilanga by election, we are yet again robbed of our own in the death of Ms. Kalima. The women’s movement will without doubts miss her immerse contribution in the fight towards greater gender equality. As we mourn this gallant daughter of Zambia, our thoughts are with the family. May Her Sour Rest in Eternal Peace.”

And according to a statement issued by Deputy Secretary to Cabinet for Administration Patrick Kangwa, President Lungu declared a three-day period of national mourning for late Kalima.

“Cabinet Office wishes to inform the general public that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has accorded a state funeral to the late Minister of Gender, Honourable Victoria Kalima who was also member of parliament for Kasenengwa constituency. This follows the demise of the Hon Minister yesterday Monday 11th June 2018 at Maina Soko Military Hospital, Lusaka after illness. A three (3) Day national mourning period has since been declared in her honour. The period of national mourning will run from Thursday 14th June to Saturday 16th June 2018. During this period, all flags will fly at half-mast and all radio and television stations will play solemn music from 06:00 hours to 18:00 hours every day. All activities of entertainment nature should either be postponed or cancelled. The funeral for the late Hon Minister is being held at House Number 13 Kasempa Road, off Chiushi road, Sunningdale, Lusaka,” said President Lungu.