Former First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa has turned down the UPND’s invitation for her to contest the Katuba Parliamentary by-elections on the opposition ticket, saying she does not come from the constituency for her to even think about vying for the parliamentary seat.
And Mwanawasa says if anyone wishes to link her to any political party, the closest would be MMD, stressing that she has never been a member of the UPND.
Recently, Mwanawasa advised political parties in the country wishing to participate in the Katuba Parliamentary by-elections to only field female candidates in order to help the country fulfil its 50-50 gender parity in governance positions by the year 2030.
Upon hearing the former First Lady’s call, UPND’s Getrude Imenda invited Mwanawasa to help her party retain the Katuba seat by contesting the by-elections under the opposition ticket, explaining that UPND would not manage to defeat PF in a by-election, considering its limited resources.
But reacting to Imenda’s invite Mwanawasa told News Diggers that the UPND knew how to reach her, and wondered why the party could extend an invitation through the media.
“First things first, I think I made a statement that I am on sabbatical as far as active politics are concerned. Secondly, I made that point regarding women representation as a responsible citizen and who is entitled to comment on national issues without taking any sides. Thirdly, Katuba constituency is a rural constituency and I don’t come from Katuba. Therefore, starting from that historical background, I wouldn’t even start looking [forward to standing] in Katuba because that’s not where I come from. Much as I come from Central Province and may have attributes to contribute to national development through politics, I can’t stand in Katuba,” Mwanawasa said.
“Then fourthly, I have not been in touch with any political party lately, neither the ruling party nor the UPND. So for them to speak through the media before they even talking to me it’s unfair because they know my phone number and they know where to find me. So it’s a bit unfair in my view, but please let the nation know that I am not participating or running for any political office.”
The former first lady who is now a practicing lawyer said she was not a robot for the opposition party to invite her through a comment to the press.
“Serious people shout not make invitations through the press. I am not a robot, they should find me and talk to me. Make that point, they should have spoken to me, I am not a robot, I am not invisible. [But], even if they came [to invite me], I would not agree. I have already stated that I am not doing politics. The day I will decide [to join active politics], I will tell the nation the same way I told the nation that I am off politics,” she explained.
Asked if she was maintaining her resignation from the UPND, Mwanawasa said her official party was the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) because that is where she earned her First Lady title.
“I was never a member [of the UPND], I went there to help and I became a member by virtue of the fact that I was asked to stand… my official position is former First Lady under the MMD, that’s where I get that title from. So if you want to relate me to any political party, the nearest would be MMD because that’s where I get that title from and it’s not transferable from party to party, no,” said Maureen.