THE charitable work by First Lady Esther Lungu is purely meant to serve the vulnerable in society and Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi should desist from politically attacking the First Lady to gain cheap political mileage, a human rights activist has advised.
Christopher Shalwabala said Ms Nawakwi should stop dragging the First Lady into politics but should concentrate on mobilizing her political party for the general elections next year.
Mr Shalwabala said Ms Nawakwi was enjoying unlimited space in the media to attack President Edgar Lungu and should not use the same space to verbally abuse the First Lady because Mrs Lungu had no platform and medium through which she could defend herself.
He told the Daily Nation that the First Lady was not doing anything political in her charitable works and that as the mother of the nation, she was expected to reach out to as many vulnerable families as possible.
He said it had been a trend in Zambia that First Ladies had always been involved in community work and that the FDD leader as a woman and a mother should be able to appreciate what the First Lady was doing for the many poor and vulnerable families.
Mr Shalwabala wondered whether it was a crime for the First Lady to be doing charitable and community works for the underprivileged in society.
He explained that the First Lady had been receiving a lot of donations from well-wishers and that was what she was using to reach out to the many poor and vulnerable families.
“It is sad that Ms Nawakwi has now extended her political arsenals to the First Lady who has no platform or medium to defend herself. Ms Nawakwi enjoys unlimited media coverage which she has effectively used to attack President Lungu and now she is going for the First Lady who has nothing to do with politics. The First Lady is doing charitable works and is reaching out to many poor and vulnerable people in our communities and unless Ms Nawakwi is against helping the poor, then she must also reconsider her ambitions to lead this country. It is not a crime or an offence for the First Lady to help the needy in society,” Mr Shalwabala said.
He said Ms Nawakwi should instead commending the First Lady for going out to help the poorest of the poor where most politicians do not go far enough to see the suffering of the people.
Meanwhile, Mumbi Phiri has blasted Ms Nawakwi for alleging that the Patriotic Front (PF) deputy secretary general was demeaning women in Zambia.
Mrs Phiri said it was unacceptable for Ms Nawakwi to have questioned her moral character for only clarifying that Post Newspaper journalist Mukosha Funga was not offered a bribe by the State or any Government official.
Mrs Phiri said Ms Nawakwi was practicing bad politics by deliberately misinterpreting her comments to suit the agenda of the Post Newspaper of scandalizing the ruling party, President Lungu and whoever was associated with the PF.
She told the Daily Nation that she was not happy that Ms Nawakwi had turned her innocent and unambiguous comment on the meeting between Funga and Indeni board chairman Johnstone Chikwanda into a political debate to advance an agenda she was not party to.
Mrs Phiri maintained that the meeting between Funga and Mr Chikwanda was private and it was unfair to link it to the State when the parson in the matter was only a board member of Indeni.
She said she was a morally upright woman who would never practice politics of looking down at fellow women because the female gender was a critical part of the country’s economic and political development.