LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
SOME women have risen to the occasion of making a change towards the betterment of Zambia. They do not want to be mere spectators but want to take up active roles to ensure that is achieved. This has seen various political parties fielding female parliamentary candidates across the country for the August 11 general elections.
The female candidates have pledged to develop their respective constituencies once voted into office.
ELIZABETH PHIRI (PF – Kanyama)
Ms Phiri, the Patriotic Front (PF) candidate for Kanyama constituency is confident of scooping the seat, come August 11 general elections because she has the ability to foster development in the area.
Known by the locals in the Constituency as Mama Key, after she was crowned by UNILEVER in 2006 because of her community work, Ms Phri said she understands the challenges the people of Kanyama Constituency are faced with and is confident that she has the answer to their problems.
â€œI used to look after orphans and vulnerable children in Kanyama. I have also been taking care of the aged and the widows. Most people in Kanyama know me for my social work,â€ she said.
â€œKanyama Constituency has many challenges. It is prone to cholera because of poor sanitation, lack of proper drainages, among others. All these problems will be a thing of the past once I am voted into office,â€ Ms Phiri said.
She said despite Kanyama being an old settlement, the area does not have a hospital or a government secondary school.
Ms Phiri has promised to oversee the construction of these facilities which she said the residents are in need of.
She has also promised to clean up Soweto market which is the largest market in Lusaka.
As for the youths of Kanyama Constituency, she has pledged to ensure that they have access to youth empowerment funds from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development.
Ms Phiri said that she will also organise empowerment funds for women in the area so that they engage in income generating activities.
â€œI am the best candidate for the seat because I have been a resident of Kanyama Constituency and I can relate with the problems that the residents experience,â€ she said.
The mother of three has promised to fulfil her campaign promises.
Ms Phiri said that the charity work she has been doing in Kanyama Constituency singles her out as being the best candidate for the seat.
She is also a founder member of the Foundation for Human Rights, an organisation that champions economic and labour rights.
She has promised to form section committees which will comprise of residents who will, together with herself, develop the area.
â€œI have been a member of the Patriotic Front since 2001, when the party was just formed. I was one of the first people to join founder leader, late Michael Sata when he formed the party,â€ Ms Phiri said.
Mr Sata appointed her as member of the central committee. Ms Phiri has also served as PF deputy national chairperson.
When the PF was voted into power in 2011, Ms Phiri was appointed Deputy High Commissioner to Tanzania were she represented Zambia for four years.
She plans to use her experience as a diplomat to develop Kanyama constituency by using the knowledge she acquired to implement projects in the area.
CHARLOTTE SCOTT (UPND -Lusaka Central)
She is known to many Zambians as the wife of former republican Vice-President Guy Scott, Charlotte Scott who is the Lusaka Central candidate standing on the United Party for National Development (UPND) for Lusaka Central believes she should be voted into office because she will take development to the area.
Charlotte Scott who is British by decent, has lived in Zambia for many years.
Born in 1963 in London, Dr Scott did her primary and secondary education in London.
She did her tertiary Education at Reading University where she obtained a degree in Social Development. In 2003, Dr Scott also did PHD in economics from the University of Birkbeck.
â€œI have 20 years of experience working with people at community level. I have been working to support development and to facilitate development with the people.
To realise the development needed in the community is something I have been doing my whole life,â€ she said.
Dr Scott said community work is something she has been doing her whole life.
She boosts of being one of the brains behind the development, planning and implementation of the social cash transfer scheme.
Dr Scott plans to use her experience in improving the living standards of people in Lusaka Central once voted as member of Parliament.
She plans to work with marketeers by improving their businesses. Her plan is to facilitate loans for the marketers and other people who might need money to start up a business.
Dr Scott also plans to improve education both at primary and tertiary level by ensuring that many children have access to quality education.
â€œI will use the many years of experience to develop the people in Lusaka Central Constituency,â€ she said.
LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka