Lungu replaces Scott with first female VP

INONGENewly-elected Zambian president Edgar Lungu has appointed the country’s first female vice president Inonge Mutukwa Wina, replacing Lusaka Central MP and former interim president Guy Scott.

She becomes the first female vice president in the history of Zambia.

The new vice president is seen as a unifying person in the governing party who stood with Lungu when the party was divided into factions following the death of president Michael Sata last October.

“She stood up for the party and a unifying factor; she is a mother and she will bring a breath of life to the government,” he said.

Relations between president Lungu and Mr Scott were always frosty.

Mr Scott suspended Lungu, who was the Patriotic Front’s Secretary-General, soon after President Sata’s death, but a protest by PF members over the decision saw the suspension being lifted.

On Saturday Mr Scott could have ruffled feathers when he told Zambians there was no need to celebrate President Lungu’s election attributing the PF candidate’s narrow win to “inexperience, failure to utilise the sympathy vote and arrogance.”

He said Zambians should thank God for his victory.

Vice president Wina was wife of deceased Movement for Multiparty Democracy chairman Mr Arthur Lubinda Wina, a freedom fighter and academician.

“Inonge Wina is a solid person; stood up for the party when we faced possibility of disintegration and going into oblivion,” said president Lungu yesterday.

Guy Scott

Guy Scott

She was born on April 2, 1941 at Suibumbu Village in Senanga and went to school in Zambia and the United States.

The vice president read for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Zambia when it was first opened. She holds a degree in history and sociology.

She has a passion for community work that dates back to the early 1970s when she gave free service to women’s movements as a volunteer.

She has served on a number of non-governmental organisation boards and as president of the Young Women’s Christian Association, where she was instrumental in promoting women’s human rights agenda, resulting in the Zambian government’s establishment of the Victim Support Unit under the Zambia Police Service.

The new VP has worked in the government as a civil servant and as a politician. As a passionate women’s rights advocate, she volunteered her time on various boards.

In 1996, she was elected National Chairperson of the NGO Co-ordinating Council of Zambia (NGOCC). In 2000, she led the women’s movement in the Red Ribbon Campaign in defence of the Zambian Constitution.

She also served as director on a number of boards in the public sector — Refugee Services Zambia, Zambia Council of Social Services, University Teaching Hospital and the University of Zambia Council.

In 2001, VP Wina contested and was subsequently elected Member of Parliament of Nalolo Constituency under the United Party for National Development (UPND). She was elected chairperson of a number of portfolio committees, including the Committee on Human Rights, Gender and Governance and Women Parliamentary Caucus.

In the 2006 presidential and general elections, VP Wina re-contested her Nalolo seat under the United Liberal Party (ULP) — a breakaway faction of the United Liberal Party. She lost the election and petitioned the results in the High Court. The case was ruled in her favour but later overturned by the Supreme Court. In the 2011 general elections, VP Wina again contested the Nalolo seat, under the Patriotic Front ticket and won. She was appointed National Chairperson for the ruling Patriotic Front.

She was appointed the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs before being moved to be Minister of Gender and Child Development by late president Sata.

Meanwhile, president Lungu cautioned appointees to State House saying they must ensure the president’s wish to be available to the people is fulfilled.

“Your job is not to isolate or insulate the President. My stay at State House is short and I won’t hesitate to fire you,” he warned.

In his acceptance speech on Saturday, he had told Zambians: “There’s no honeymoon for us. Tomorrow (yesterday), I will swear in ministers whom I’ll be appointing in the course of the day.

“I want to hand you a new constitution. We’ll ensure we give you a people driven constitution and to this effect I wish to appoint one respected lawyer Dr Ngosa Simbyakula as Justice Minister to oversee this process.”

He deplored the tribalism exhibited during elections and urged healing among Zambians urging political leaders to preach one Zambia, one nation.

“Politics is not about winning and celebrating. It’s about meeting the aspirations of the people.

“I’m humbled you elected me as 6th Republican president,” he said.

President Lungu also paid tribute to Zambia’s fourth president Rupiah Banda for endorsing his candidature, a development that many in the country credit to his victory, saying it was an act of unity.

“Thanks to Mr Rupiah Banda and MMD members for the endorsement which fostered unity. The journey was fractured and acrimonious sometimes. The just ended elections shows that there’s still work to be done. To those who are dissatisfied with my election, good luck. There are courts of law there,” he said.

He also congratulated top contender for the post UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema for a formidable campaign and performance. — Herald Reporters/Lusaka Times/Zambia Reports.