PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s decision to adopt the internationally accomplished female scientist and politician Professor Nkandu Luo as running mate is welcome and the proper exercise of his Constitutional prerogative to pick a nominee.
We take ownership and we will give our flag bearers in President Lungu and Prof Luo maximum support and ensure that resounding victory is delivered as that will be Zambia’s victory.
Prof Luo has established herself as a disciplinarian and uncompromising firm leader who has nothing but the proven track record of nothing but service.
Her life of public service traces from 1996 when she was elected Member of Parliament for Lusaka’s Mandevu Constituency and later appointed to cabinet where she served in various portfolios.
In the health reforms, she presided over the ministry of health which saw skills transfer of Cuban doctors who were engaged by the Zambian government.
Even after taking a break from public life, Prof Luo’s life of service was tied to her name as she presided over a number of activities that integrated young girls and women and make their meaningful participation and contribution to society.
With the coming of the PF into power, Prof Luo bounced back to political life as Member of Parliament for Munali Constituency. She was the pioneer of the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs which was elevated as a Directorate under the Ministry of Local Government.
It was under her tenure that the government introduced a number of reforms especially the welfare of chiefs. It was under her tenure that Government introduced the chief’s subsidies and launched the construction and modernisation of their palaces.
At the Ministry of Gender, Prof Luo’s tenure coincided with the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia of 2016 which established the Gender and Equity Commission. The operationalisation of the commission is underway and it is earmarked to streamline gender equality.
At the Ministry of Higher Education, Prof Luo presided over the transition from the unsustainable bursary scheme to the student’s loan scheme. Since then, a number of programmes have been put in place to increase the targeted beneficiaries of the loan scheme even from the private institutions of learning.
As regards some former students protesting her appointment, they have disregarded the fact that it was under her tenure that the generational problem of rioting in institutions of learning was eradicated. Prof Luo’s no nonsense approach brought about sanity and the amicable ways of resolving disputes especially if students were on the grieving side.
Her last tour of duty as a cabinet minister ended at the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. She presided at a time when the government was diversifying agriculture.
With this exemplary history of Prof Luo’s life of public service, we are fortified that President Lungu reflected on the decision and no doubt it is the right decision at this time. We will support both President Lungu and the running mate in Prof Luo. It’s team LuLu all the way.
MARVIN CHANDA MBERI,