NEW Heritage Party president Chishala Kateka says the provisional voter statistics which show that women are in the majority is a chance for them to unite and elect Zambia’s first female Head of State.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia recently revealed that more women had registered to vote in the August 12 general election, representing 53.4 per cent of the provisional register while men only constituted 46.6 per cent.
Commenting on this in an interview Kateka, said women were tired of being lied to and the general election offered a chance for them to elect their own for real change.
“It is the chance for women to elect their own, definitely. The women are tired of being lied to so they are budding together. I think we should watch that space. A number of countries have developed under women Presidents, that is the intention. You know what, we have tried the men and once they get in there, they have got their agenda whereas when a woman takes over, her agenda is the country. That is the reason we are taking over anyway, so that we can do something. This game that the men play, I am not attacking the men, it is not all the men that have been bad. I particularly found Levy Patrick Mwanawasa very good, he meant well but most of the people who go in there, they turn to their own agendas,” Kateka said.
“At the state where we are, I live in a compound, I have seen how the women suffer a lot, it is the women that stand at the roadside selling whatever they can find, even bananas, overripe bananas but just trying to make ends meet. So, we really need to do something for the women. Of course we need to do something for everybody but this economy, the way it is really, it really messes our people up. What we are finding that even at MP level, the women stand a better chance this time round. There are some constituencies where they are saying we don’t want a man, we want a woman for an MP. Even at Presidential level, men and women are saying that we don’t want a man. So in this particular election, it will be one of the key factors that we need to look out for.”
And Kateka said the high prices of commodities was caused by the free falling of the Kwacha and not sabotage as assumed by President Edgar Lungu.
“When your exchange rate is very high and we import a lot of things, you pay in Dollars. So, obviously the Kwacha amount you are using to pay goes up. When the rate was at K3 in the Mwanawasa days, now it is K21, K23 the amount of Kwacha you are going to pay for a $10 where as before it would cost K330, when it is K22 it becomes K2,200. So, of course when the rate goes up, the prices will go up. It can’t be that someone is sitting there manipulating the prices, so that it sabotages. So, how does he explain amalasha (charcoal) ? Amalasha has gone up, why? Because the malasha sellers also want to be affording these other things. So, the reason the prices have gone up is due to inflation as well as due to foreign exchange. However, the real reason is that the economy is not doing too well,” said Kateka.