PF deputy secretary general Mumbi Phiri says she is going to recontest the Munali parliamentary seat because the electorate in the area has asked her to.
Featuring on Joy FM’s The Platform programme on Monday, Mumbi, who served as Munali member of parliament between 2006 and 2011, said nothing stopped her from applying to be adopted to contest in this year’s elections.
Serving Munali PF member of parliament Professor Nkandu Luo, who is now trying to capture the voters’ attention through visits to the constituency, is also seeking readoption for the seat.
“Many times you ask me if I am going to stand and now it is open, everyone who is aspiring will put in their applications. You have always asked me if I will contest and today I want to announce to you that I am putting in an application to stand as per popular demand from the people of Munali…I am applying in Munali Constituency and if I am considered by the party, I am going to recontest the Munali Constituency seat,” Mumbi said.
“We met and we resolved that we start receiving the applications from all those who are aspiring to contest in this year’s elections. Like any other person who wants to contest, I will apply because I am a woman of substance, not just any other woman. I have done that because of the people of Munali who have been calling me to go there. Nothing stops me from applying.”
She said the process of adoption would be transparent and that the people on the ground would decide who they want to represent them.
“We are going to hear what the people are going to say on the ground even if I am deputy secretary general. If I am not appealing to the electorate, I will be left out. It has happened to me before. It is going to be very transparent,” Mumbi said.
And Mumbi said it was entirely up to President Edgar Lungu to choose who his running mate would be.
“The pronouncement of President Edgar Lungu having a running mate who is a woman, it is entirely up to him and he doesn’t have to share with anybody. We will know on the actual day when he will make the announcement. I have no idea of whom he may be thinking of but not suffice to say, it is so surprising that it is raising a lot of excitement in people’s minds because, as we know, we already have a female Vice-President,” Mumbi said.
She said she was a supporter of Vice-President Inonge Wina because she had represented women well.
“Remember…I came to this radio station and said you know when we were going for the elections, there were some names which were coming and I always said if it is a woman who is going to be picked as a vice-president, let us pick a woman who is mature and one who is going to work hard and represent us well,” Mumbi said.
She said women were vulnerable and delicate hence the need for the country to empower them by giving them decision-making positions.
Mumbi said if one woman failed, it was extended to all women.
“For me, I don’t even know where this debate is coming from because President Lungu has already demonstrated 50 years after independence, this is when we are having a female Vice-President. To me, it is not strange that President Lungu wants a woman as running mate. Are you telling me I do not have a following or mama Wina has no following compared to men? There is nothing about this country without women. We are the majority voters, the ones who campaign and look after that man who is degrading us,” she said.
Mumbi said women were good managers and that men should stop looking down on them.
“Those days are gone and as women, we are going to stand up regardless of which political party we come from. We will show men what we are made of. You men take advantage of us because you want us to fight so that you go to the top. Look at what is happening in other political parties where from 2006 like the UPND, they only had two women in Parliament, 2011, two women in Parliament. We know their strongholds are Southern, Western and North-Western provinces, why don’t they put women? Because women and the youth we are the weaker souls,” she said.
Mumbi said President Lungu will work with whoever he will feel comfortable to work with as his running mate.
She wondered why men always thought that if a woman succeeded, it was because she was using her “bottom power”.
“Why do you men think that us women we don’t have the brains and we cannot be trusted?
At least you men are coming to understand that we can be equal partners in the development of this country. The other challenge is we do not have financial muscle as women, so I am urging other political parties to empower women and help them take up decision-making positions,” Mumbi said.
She said women who are married should be encouraged by their husbands to join politics and participate in the development process.
“Me I have total support from my husband, so no matter what anybody says, my husband knows and he just says ‘don’t worry about it’. Believe in us and have that confidence so that we make this country better. Even the corruption charges we have, they are against men mostly. There are very few women who are appearing in court for corruption. Most of the women have the integrity and have the fear of the Lord,” Mumbi said.
Meanwhile, Mumbi said she manages to participate in politics because she knows and believes in herself.
“I can be deputy secretary general at the office because I differentiate between party work and family. When I am at home, I am Patrick Phiri’s wife. I know my inner side. Nobody can break me because I know myself and I believe in myself. I know where I am coming from and I know the direction God is taking me. Women, believe in yourselves. Don’t be intimidated and stand up strong. Whatever people say doesn’t mean anything,” said Mumbi.