THE Patriotic Front (PF) says it is shocked that the UPND has not adopted any female candidate in Southern Province, a region where it would be easy for women to win seats in Parliament in the coming general elections.
PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri said it was unlikely that the UPND would have a female parliamentarian after the general elections because those that had been adopted were not going to win their seats.
She said the UPND had adopted women in areas where the party was unpopular, thereby making it impossible for the female candidates to win their seats.
Mrs Phiri said the female parliamentary candidates that had been adopted to contest some seats in Lusaka had lost the elections even before they started the campaigns.
She said in Chongwe, Sylvia Masebo was unlikely to win because the people were fed up with her having been an MP for that last 20 years.
Mrs Phiri said she felt sorry for Charlotte Scott, the wife to former vice-president Guy Scott for having been asked to contest the Lusaka Central seat when the UPND knew it was ‘‘practically impossible’’ for her to win the seat. She stated that the UPND had also adopted a female candidate in Munali knowing full well that she would not win the seat and claimed that the opposition party would be dominated by males in Parliament.
She said the 28 female candidates the UPND had adopted had been ‘‘shunted’’ in areas where it would be impossible for them to win and it was clear that the UPND did not desire to promote gender equality.
“The UPND is claiming that it has adopted a lot of women and yet they only have 28 out of the 156 constituencies. The UPND is a political party that does not believe in gender balancing; we have looked at the list of their candidates, they have not adopted any woman in Southern Province where it would have been easy to win because that is their stronghold.
‘‘It is most likely that the UPND will not have female parliamentarians because those that have been adopted have lost even before they start campaigning,” Mrs Phiri said.
She said the UPND should stop fooling Zambians that it had respect for women because its leadership strongly believed that women were not supposed to participate in the governance of the country.