WITH the nation set to witness another General Election, Zambia’s first female Vice President has set another first by announcing her retirement.
Mama Inonge Wina in her own words has said the time has come for new leaders to take up positions.
Indeed, the Patriotic Front party has seen its fair share of political firsts and this is just another historic event.
Speaking during a briefing yesterday at Government House in Lusaka, the Vice President indicated that age was catching up with her, hence the need to pass the baton to a younger generation of leaders.
She applauded the Head of State for having given her the opportunity to serve the Zambian people as first female Vice President.
“It’s now time to pass on the baton. I have reached a stage in my political journey where I need to take a different role that will see a new generation of leaders take charge of the affairs of the country especially now that stability has been restored by President Edgar Lungu,” she said.
“I recently turned 80 years and as most of you can agree I cannot summon the same energy as I had when I was a young wife to a freedom fighter taking a position in the trenches.”
Mrs Wina explained that her involvement in the affairs of Zambia dated back to the pre-Independence stage and she was privileged to have served the nation in modern times with the support of the Zambian people.
She said she executed her functions including being Leader of Government Business in Parliament with the support from Cabinet and Members of Parliament with ease which was premised on the principles of collective responsibility.
The vice president said the opportunity to serve as the first female vice president was a historical milestone in the recognition of women as partners in leadership at the highest level of government.
Her commanding presence in the National Assembly was inspiring and gave credence to women in politics.
“We enacted laws in the National Assembly that were designed to ensuring that the standard of life of our people is uplifted. I must confess that the Vice-President’s Question Time was indeed at times challenging but it provided a suitable opportunity for us as government to be scrutinised by the people through their elected representatives,” she said.
During her brieifng that signalled the impending rise of a new Presidential running mate, Mrs. Wina further said that efforts to serve the people through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) would not be successful in isolation as this was a concerted effort by various supporting partners.
She thanked Zambians for the privilege accorded to her to serve as Vice President of the country.
It is hoped that President Lungu will consider a fema candidate for his running mate.
We can only salute Vice President Inonge Wina for her strength, dignity and patriotism shown as she served in her office and look forward to her continued stewardship.