VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina is a “woman of metal” who held the Patriotic Front (PF) together when some senior leaders were out to wreck and disintegrate the ruling party during the succession wrangles following the death of president Michael Sata, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has said.
Mr Chikwanda said it was a miracle that the PF had emerged victorious given the totality of the circumstances and adversity that were ranged against President Edgar Lungu during the tumultuous succession period.
Mr Chikwanda has paid glowing tribute to Vice-President Wina for her courage and immense value to the ruling party, adding that her appointment was well-deserved and commended President Lungu for having seen the qualities of formidable leadership in her.
Mr Chikwanda said the PF won the January 20 election because Mr Lungu proved to have the best product to sell among the 11 presidential candidates.
The Finance minister told the Daily Nation that since Ms Wina was appointed the national chairperson of the ruling party before the 2011 general elections, she had been of immense value to the party and that the victory by the PF was partly because of her courage to defy aggression from some of the senior leaders in the ruling party.
Mr Chikwanda said Ms Wina was a woman who conducted herself in “unmatched respectability” and that President Lungu had done PF and Zambians in general proud for appointing her as his second in command.
He said unlike some educated men and women who were “wearing their education” and exhibiting arrogance towards the people they aspired to lead, Vice-President Wina had the ability to relate herself well to all people irrespective of their status in society.
“Mama Wina, since she was appointed chairperson of the PF before 2011, has immediately brought value to the party. She is one who has conducted herself in unmatched respectability. Vice-President Wina is a woman of metal who held the party together at a time of turbulence when many of our members were out to wreck our party.
Some of our party members did everything to fight and disintegrate the party and it is a miracle we won the election given the totality of circumstances and adversity that was reined against us. Our victory was partly due to the fact that we were selling the best product in Mr Lungu,” Mr Chikwanda said.
Mr Chikwanda said Ms Wina provided valuable guidance to the party during its difficult times adding that the Vice-President took responsibility of the party with all the attendant risks.
He stated that Ms Wina was “a totally humble, reachable, accommodating and all-embracing woman” who should be supported by all women across the political divide.
Mr Chikwanda said President Lungu was going to prove that he was a worthy successor of late president Sata and by appointing a female Vice-President, he had demonstrated that he believed in gender, a subject he said was only being talked about at lofty platforms.
He said late president Sata’s legacy of appointing women in leadership positions had been enhanced with the Zambia Police Service being headed by Madam Stella Libongani while the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) were headed by Ms Rosewin Wandi and Ms Alita Mbao respectively.
The Finance minister said the appointment of Ms Wina was going to open the door to many opportunities for women.
And Mr Chikwanda has described President Lungu as a man of high intellect who in the first few days had demonstrated high calibre and depth in his leadership and governance style.
Mr Chikwanda said apart from being humble and compassionate, Mr Lungu had with humility continued guiding the party to allow its vision which late president Sata aptly articulated.