CAUCUS for Women Parliamentarians chairperson Professor Nkandu Luo Professor Nkandu Luo says Constitution Amendment Bill number 10 will make it possible for Zambia to attain the SADC protocol of 50-50 representation.

And Prof Luo says it is sad that people on social media make fun of everything about her, from her spectacles to her toes.

Speaking during a press briefing, Monday, Prof Luo said people who were against Bill 10 denied women the opportunity to participate in governance issues.

“In terms of SADC protocol, I am sure you have been following some of the women who have been going all over talking about…they are called the women vision 2020. This is because when people are debating Bill 10, they are really not looking at article by article. In Bill 10, there is an article that will make it possible for us to attain the SADC protocol of 50-50 that is Article 47 number 2. It is actually putting in place a system of elections that will ensure that women are brought into council, into Parliament and also other positions of decision making. It will also provide how the laws will be crafted that will make it possible for the women to achieve that 50-50. For example, in Britain they have what they call the safe seats, there are certain seats that are reserved specifically for women to compete. And President Lungu has agreed in Bill 10 to ensure that Article 47 is part of Bill 10. And all those speaking against Bill 10 are denying you women the opportunity to participate, the youths and people living with disabilities,” Prof Luo said.

And Prof Luo lamented that people mocked everything, including her spectacles.

“As a person, I am not against anybody criticizing me in terms of my portfolio as Minister of Fisheries and Livestock. When I was Minister of Higher Education, there was nothing wrong in criticizing me in my course of duty. But I have every reason to be upset if someone enters my house and starts insulting me. What is sad in Zambia is that we are doing this because we have rights and this whOle rights issue is what has brought Zambia to its knees right now in terms of how we relate with the genders, how we relate with adults and so on,” Prof Luo said.

“I think we really need to start putting laws in place that are going to deal with this otherwise we are gone as a country. Zambia was a very respected country until this social media came. Let me say to my women colleagues out there that if they are insulting Nkandu Luo from her spectacles to her toes, you are also insulting yourselves. The postings we see on social media where someone was insulting my spectacles, I looked at that and I was mesmerized how somebody can insult my spectacles. What have they done?”

She challenged the church to counsel young people who were using social media to insult leaders.

“As a woman particularly, I feel extremely sad. When I look back in the past, insulting elders was a taboo. As I sit here, it has become so fashionable to insult. And sometimes when these young people are insulting, they are doing it in full view of elders. And I have been wondering that when you stand as a mother or a father and you see these young people insulting, don’t you realise that they are insulting you? These young people who are insulting young women, it doesn’t matter which woman they are insulting, they are actually insulting their own mothers. So where is the family fabric? Where has it gone? Where are the churches in all this in terms of rekindling our social fabric as a people?” she asked.

Meanwhile, Prof Luo said the women parliamentarians would sponsor a private members’ motion to tackle cyber bullying.

“The women’s movement in 2020…We need to include more women in decision making, more women in Parliament, more women in councils. Because maybe as women, we will try and drive the country back to where it should be in terms of driving our social fabric. I would like to see in this sitting that we as women parliamentary caucus sponsor a private member’s motion that will talk about this cyber bullying. The question is where does everybody’s rights end? What makes one think that they have a right to insult a minister, they have the right to insult the members of parliament, elders? How about the rights of the person they are insulting? So Zambia needs to unpack this issue of human rights,” said Prof Luo.

“And I would love to address the Human Rights Commission. I think they have an obligation to this country to start guiding this country in where everybody’s rights end. Because we just can’t be going round, I stand in the middle of Cairo Road and start insulting people because it’s my right. We need to start knowing where our rights end. And really where is our education? Because an educated person cannot do that. I recall when I used to be Minister of Higher Education, I said ‘the tragedy that we have is maybe what we have are schooled people’ we are all walking around with certificates in our handbags, our briefcase, an educated person cannot do things that we see. We have the fast track courts and we hope when the female judges will be judging in those courts they will make sure those that have been reported for doing things like this will be given the appropriate punishment.”