The women’s movement in Zambia has been challenged to provide counsel to former first lady Christine Kaseba on her decision to take part in national politics soon after the demise of her husband.
Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali said the women’s movement should not have to be reminded to take a position on the decision by the late president Michael Sata’s widow, to join active politics a few days after her husband’s burial.
Mr Tayali said women have been a pillar of wise counsel to men and women who have fallen out of check with African tradition and culture in areas of dress and behaviour.
“It is a good thing that our women movements have kept their nation in check with tradition and culture, because a society without culture is a dead society, but it is unfortunate they have failed to come out on Dr Kaseba’s decision to come out of mourning to active politics barely eight days after her husband’s burial,” he said.
On Wednesday, Dr Kaseba filed in her application for nomination as the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party president which would make her a candidate for the country’s presidency if she won.
Mr Tayali explained that the former first lady should be a role model to all the women folk in the country, and wondered how her action would impact on the young and growing generation of girls and women in Zambia.
He said the women’s associations should provide guidance on the tradition surrounding death and in Dr Kaseba’s case, mourning a husband.
“Our women must speak about what has happened in our motherland. What is their view on a woman who takes to the podium a few days after her husband’s death? What lessons are our children drawing from this on matters of tradition and culture, and respecting the death of a beloved one?” Mr Tayali said.
He has since called on family counsellors, popularly known as Alangizi to come out and talk about Dr Kaseba’s action to take up politics at a time she claimed to be in mourning over the loss of her husband.
“Where are the women counsellors, alangizis, who have never fallen short of counsel on half naked women in society, offensive pictures in the public media and defilement, but have remained mute on Dr Kaseba’s position? What kind of role model is she to the women movement and the general womenfolk in the country?” he said. Exactly seven days after her husband’s burial, Dr Kaseba decided to join the PF party’s search for President Sata’s replacement for the top job and subsequently candidate for republican presidency in the January 20, 2015 Elections.
A total of 10 PF members are vying for the position of party president.
Dr Kaseba claimed to have come out of mourning to provide continuity leadership to her late husband’s vision for the development of Zambia.