DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka
SPOUSES of traditional leaders recognise the role First Lady Esther Lungu is playing on social, cultural and economic issues affecting Zambiaâ€™s population.
In a communique issued in Lusaka on Friday, the 18 spouses of traditional leaders committed themselves to working in close consultation with Mrs Lungu in ensuring community involvement in design, implementation and monitoring of development programmes.
The communique was issued at the close of a two-day national dialogue meeting for spouses of traditional leaders on the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, GBV, child marriage and open defecation in Zambia.
Mrs Lungu has shown commitment in tackling issues on HIV and AIDS, gender-based violence, early and child marriages, and sanitation.
The 18 spouses include Agness Musonda (Puta), Edna Sakayi (Ndungu), Sampa Mwango (Chikwanda), Elizabeth Mphuka (Mphuka), Bernadette Mwamba (Chitimukulu), Bupela Mazhamo (Mumena), Kamana Muwaya (Chiwala), Catherine Muzokela (Sikoongo) and Jessy Ndlovu (Mphamba).
Others are Mirriam Jere (Nzamane), Maggie Mwila (Chamuka) Jacqueline Chengo (Chibesakunda), Pecidia Lamanto (Machiya), Veronica Mwanakasale (Mukuni), Venna Muzundu (Chikanta), Mary Musonda (Chibale), Celestine Chungu (Mwansakombe) and Monde Lindunda (Kandala).
The spouses have committed themselves to contributing effectively to the implementation of option B plus to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child and keep mothers alive.
On sanitation, the spouses affirmed their commitment to accelerating the use and construction of latrines in their respective chiefdoms.
The spouses will also enhance social and economic empowerment of girls and women by accelerating the re-entry policy in their respective areas.
â€œWe underline that Government and other stakeholders should ensure the involvement of local communities, including youth and women in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all development programmes in our various chiefdoms,â€ the communique reads.
DOREEN NAWA, Lusaka