It is highly malicious and a demonstration of hatred for the Non-Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) to politicise First Lady Esther Lungu’s charity works in the Western Province when the same organisation failed to condemn or challenge previous first ladies who did similar works, opposition Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM) has charged.
Reacting to NGOCC Board Secretary Patricia Mubanga’s statement that there was need to enact laws to guide the operations and define the role of the First Lady’s office as Ms. Lungu’s activities were sometimes misconstrued by members of the public to be advancing partisan politics, ZDDM president Edwin Sakala said the statement by NGOCC was unfortunate and misplaced and that it was just aimed at bringing the office of the first lady into ridicule.
Mr. Sakala wondered where the organisation was when successive first ladies engaged in charity activities while dismissing assertions that Ms. Lungu’s stay in Western Province to help various members of society would be viewed as a political endeavour.
He said it was unfortunate that a big organisation like the NGOCC would question the first lady’s activity when she was merely extending a helping hand to the less privileged in society.
“Ms. Patricia Mubanga after 50years and with four former first ladies, your organisation does not still understand the role of a first lady in this country and you decide to raise the dust now that Mrs. Lungu is doing exactly what all previous first ladies were doing?” Mr. Sakala asked.
He advised the NGOCC to desist from making political statements which had the potential to divide the nation.
Mr Sakala said even though some people in the organisation had issues with the first lady, scandalising her in such a manner was unnecessary.
He asked the NGOCC to use rightful channels to register their grievances rather than rushing to the media to question an activity which it failed to condemn previously when conducted by other first ladies and wondered how it had now become a political issue after being carried out by a different person when it had turned a blind eye to others who acted in the same way.
“Even if it is disliking someone in your family, let us be noble in our NGOs. Sometimes I even wonder whether Zambia is a Christian Nation because what I read in the Christian Nation media does not reflect that identity. Maybe that’s why Professor Muna Ndulo said we should re-think the Christian Nation Clause , although I don’t support his idea,” Mr Sakala said.
He said it was sad that the NGOCC had drifted from its mandate as an NGO and was now acting like a full-fledged political party by questioning what the first lady was doing while the same people who were making an issue out of what the first lady was doing were mute previously.
“All this time NGOCC had no problem with sources of funds for First Ladies activities but now it has become an issue. NGOCC is becoming a Political Party as well because this followed immediately after FDD president Edith Nawakwi made similar noise,” he said.