It is becoming a common perception today that women must lead from the front and not just push from behind. Society is fast coming to terms with the fact that women must lead alongside men, and not push men from behind. Scripture is clear that God created them _male and female_ (Gen 1 vs 27). The LORD God was clear that “it is not good for a man to be alone, I will make him a helper” (Gen 2 vs 18).The word helper is from the Hebrew “ezer”. This word is also used to talk of the help that God renders to mankind. God is Yahweh Ezer – the LORD our helper. The Holy Spirit is our “paraklet”, our helper. Jesus, too, is our helper. It is clear from the Bible that the helper is always either of a superior or equal nature. Therefore, the Bible has never pushed an agenda that pushes women to the back, treating them like inferior partners. This is why seeing women aspire for higher leadership positions in the 2021 Presidential Elections must inspire the Christian Nation. In today’s article we pay particular attention to the following women: New Heritage Party presidential contender madam Chishala Kateka; Patriotic Front running mate Professor Nkandu Luo; United Party for National Development running mate Honourable Mutale Nalumango and Democratic Party running mate madam Judith Kabemba.
Madam Chishala Kateka brings a wealth of experience from the corporate world into the politics of our nation. Born on June 30, 1956, the 65-year-old presidential aspirant holds a Bachelor of Economics from University of Zambia (UNZA), is a member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA), has served at the highest level at various portfolios in the corporate world having recently been Board Chairperson of Barclays Bank Plc (now Absa Bank). Among the main higher positions she has held at international level are being the principal consultant for the World Bank on the Copperbelt Economic Diversification Workshop Project and coordinator of the National Economic Diversification Programme funded by the World Bank and the Zambian Government. Ms Kateka is also a successful business entrepreneur who has worked as managing director for many companies of international repute. Madam Kateka is a devoted Pentecostal Christian who is passionate for reviving not just the economy but also the moral fibre of the nation. She brings on the table economic renewal and hope. Professor Nkandu Luo is President Edgar Lungu’s running mate under the Patriotic Front (PF) ticket. Professor Luo has an impeccable record of serving in the public service and in Government for close to 30 years. The microbiologist professor is also a strong voice in the nation for the protection of women and children’s rights. Her public service has never been dented with allegations of corruption in any way. One of her greatest international highlights was the successful hosting of ICASA Conference 2000 when she was minister of health. Prof Luo may be controversial at times, but it is clear that she has served this nation diligently whenever she has been given an opportunity to do so. The 70-year-old is referred to by many as the little girl from Chinsali because of her humble Chinsali background.
In spite of her humble background, Professor Luo defied the odds by becoming the first female professor in Zambia. Professor Luo has a choleric character that makes focus more in getting things done than building relationships. Her strong-willed personality has evidence of discipline, focus, determination and being result-oriented. Professor Luo is a devoted Catholic whose Christian faith cannot be doubted. Professor Luo brings on the table ingenuity and integrity. Honourable Mutale Nalumango, of United Party for National Development (UPND), is another trail blazer.
She is running side by side with the leader of Zambia’s biggest and strongest opposition party the UNPD, Mr Hakainde Hichilema.
Her political history emerges from 2001 when she became Kaputa Member of Parliament in Northern Province and quickly rose in ranks to become a senior cabinet minister who served both at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services in the MMD regime before becoming the first female Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. Madam Nalumango has an impeccable record of political integrity as no allegations of corruption have been raised against her, both from her labours in the civil service as a teacher and public service as a politician.
The female educationist scored irrefutable successes and achieved many stints in the education sector before she left the service to aspire for political office. Mrs Nalumango is a trail blazer, a goal getter and an achiever with a good consciousness of the opinions of people she is leading.
In the recent past, Mrs Nalumango has demonstrated the level of wisdom in preserving the reputation of UPND which Vice-President Inonge Wina exhibited in saving PF from collapsing after the death of President Michael Sata (MHSRIP). Madam Nalumango is a Pentecostal Christian who is also an ordained minister of the Gospel in the church that she pastors with her husband. She brings on the table character and integrity.
The youngest of these great women is Judith Kabemba, the Kopala girl (girl from Copperbelt), born on 24th April 1981. Madam Kabemba did her secondary education at Kalulushi Secondary School before going for training as a primary school teacher. Later she studied Psychology with Public Adminstration at the University of Zambia (UNZA), where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She is Democratic Party presidential running mate standing with the youthful Harry Kalaba, who has served as Foreign Affairs minister in the Patriotic Front government. Judith Kabemba is an amazing personality who comes on the political scene with great passion, youthfulness and energy. Ms Kabemba has worked as a teacher in the private sector and has served as Community Liaison Personnel in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) having worked in Chingola, Kitwe and Nampundwe. Just like her party and her president, Ms Kabemba has a bright political future, because her political career is still in its infancy. She contested as a parliamentary candidate for Nchanga in 2016. She was also spokesperson for National Restoration Party before she joined Democratic Party and quickly rose in ranks to become the party’s vice president. Ms Kabemba is a committed Pentecostal Christian with a strong belief in Christian values of morality and integrity. She brings on the table vision, hope, passion and zeal. These four women are a great inspiration to the young women and girls of our land in particular and to the rest of the citizens at large. They demonstrate to our young generation that charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov 31 vs 30). These great women exhibit the fact that while beauty is desirable, it is nothing. Education is something but character is everything. These gallant daughters of our land have displayed impeccable character over the years that makes them outstanding and women of choice on the political scene in Zambia. Their contest is a contest of ideas, and their aspiration is to inspire the nation by serving with loyalty, faithfulness, dedication and integrity. As we reflect on lives of these dear women, we must appreciate the fact that man and woman were created to complement each other and not to compete against each other. May peace prevail over Zambia during these campaigns in Jesus’ Name!
The author is pastor and theologian.