Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:51 pm
The widow of Zambia’s President Michael Sata, Christine Kaseba, on Wednesday announced she will seek to contest the January 20 presidential election to replace her husband who died three weeks ago.
“As difficult as it is for me to mourn my husband, I have come to the conclusion that part of the true mourning of this great Zambian leader will be in completing the work he began,’’ Kaseba said.
Deploring divisions within the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), the 55-year-old obstetrician and gynaecologist, said that she had long worked alongside her husband and that she was the right person to unite the party.
Sata’s son, Mulenga Sata, who is the mayor of Lusaka, and the late president’s nephew, Deputy Commerce Minister, Miles Sampa, have also expressed interest in becoming the PF candidate in the presidential poll.
However, Kaseba has received support from many women, saying it was time for Zambia to get a female head of state.
“Since independence, men have ruled this great nation and we have seen what they have and have not been able to do,’’ Beatrice Grillo, who coordinates a council of non-governmental organisations, said.
Edith Nawakwi, leader of the small Opposition Forum for Democracy and Development, has also announced her candidacy in the presidential election.
Africa has only two female presidents, Ellen Sirleaf in Liberia and Catherine Samba-Panza in the Central African Republic. And Africa may soon have more women in place if the jockeying by Grace Mugabe, to succeed her husband in Zimbabwe, succeeds.
Zambia is now ruled by Sata’s former deputy, Guy Scott, the country’s first white president since independence.
Scott cannot run for president because his parents were not born in the southern African country.