NOBODY is asking what tribe our Vice President Inonge Wina is. Nobody really cares because it is irrelevant.
Zambians recognise her for the outstanding qualities she exhibited at the height of the division within the ruling Patriotic Front.
She came across as a dependable, efficient and most importantly wise leader who could be trusted.
The countrywide acceptance of Mrs Wina as Vice President of Zambia should teach politicians something.
It matters not the tribe which one comes from but how one has interacted with people of different origins and one’s competence.
Fifty years after Independence, Mrs Wina has become the first female Vice President of Zambia because she has proved herself without exogenous support.
She has become the closest political figure to the Presidency.
And this was demonstrated yesterday when President Edgar Lungu left the instruments of power with Mrs Wina when he left for Ethiopia.
This is a mark of trust and confidence which is cultivated by the track record of wise decision-making.
Yes, intelligence and technical ability play a role but there is the emotional quotient that reaches out to other people.
It is the ability to communicate and command respect among the peers and subordinates which has marked her out for leadership.
Even in the heat of the moment when then Vice President Guy Scott exasperated the nation with his conduct, Mrs Wina maintained her calm demeanour.
Mrs Wina’s public life did not start with being a parliamentarian in 2011.
She has been in public life for a long time and those who have worked with her understand her levels of competence.
For starters, Mrs Wina holds a diploma in social work from Santa Monica City College in Los Angeles, California, in the United States of America.
She also read for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Zambia when it was first opened. Mrs Wina holds a degree in history and sociology.
She has served on a number of boards of Non-Governmental Organisations and as president of the Young Women’s Christian Association, where she was instrumental in promoting women’s human rights agenda, resulting in Government establishing the Victim Support Unit under the Zambia Police Service.
In 1996, she was elected National Chairperson of the NGO Coordinating Council of Zambia (NGOCC).
Mrs Wina also served as director on a number of boards in the public sector; this included Refugee Services Zambia, Zambia Council of Social Development, University Teaching Hospital, and the University of Zambia Council.
In the 2011 general elections, Mrs Wina contested the Nalolo seat, under the Patriotic Front ticket, and won.
She was appointed the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs before being moved to be Minister of Gender and Child Development by President Michael Sata (late).
This is the rich history Mrs Wina brings to the Vice Presidency.
With such experience in public and non-governmental organisations, it will be a misplaced accusation to attribute Mrs Wina’s appointment to tribe.
Observers should comfortably rest assured that Mrs Wina has the necessary academic qualifications and public service experience to occupy the office of the Vice President.