Proscardness Mwiinga is a vibrant young politician in Zambia and a Councillor in Lukanga ward, Kapiri Mposhi district, Central Province of the country. She has a big dream in a male dominated political space; her dream is to eventually become the first female President of Zambia as she climbs the political ladder. Proscardness told Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable in an interview that many Zambian women stay away from politics because female politicians in her country are wrongly perceived to be prostitutes
Why did you go into politics?
I went into politics because I saw that youths and women are under- represented in key decision making positions and I felt the narrative should change. The best way to change the narrative is for more women to participate in politics, and that is exactly what I have done.
What has been your experience as a politician?
My experience has been good and bad. Good in the sense that because of my position, I manage to reach out to youths across the country to advocate for them to create their own safe space in governance issues. My goal on this is being achieved because the Movement of Youth4parliament and eight political parties have signed a social contract that in 2021, they will at least adopt a number of youths into the parliament in ten Provinces of Zambia of which 6% will be women. Again, you are probably aware that child marriage is common in Southern African countries, Zambia is no exception. This made me to engage parents, stakeholders, and other partners, particularly World Vision Zambia which sensitizes parents on the dangers of child marriage. As a ward, we came up with a committee called Child Protection Committee. The committee keeps watch on parents and reports anyone who engages in child marriage. They either report to me or the police. I have also put in place Community Working Group which initiates developments in Lukanga ward. Through the e group, I manage to sensitize the parents on Sexual Reproduction Health Rights (SRHR) agenda. This is so because many parents are ignorant about this, but now they are better enlightened. On the other side, I said I have had bad experience because as a youth and politician, the society thinks you are financially stable therefore you get huge demands that you cannot meet.
What is the peculiar challenge of Lukanga ward and how are you addressing them as the Councilor?
The peculiar challenge of Lukanga ward is shortfall in educational infrastructure. To address this as a Councillor, I work hand in hand with our partners in development like the NGOs. I also do this with government, parents, the church and the tradition leaders. I make sure that every stakeholder in my ward supports educational development.
What is the level of involvement of Zambian women in politics, are they facing any challenges?
The level of involvement of Zambian women in politics is still at about 38%. The society most times wrongly perceives women in politics as prostitutes. Another reason why most women shy away from politics is because of violence. No woman wants to get caught in political violence because women are peace lovers. Therefore, we still have to do more in terms of advocacy and campaign for more women to join politics and they have to be assured of their safety.
You must be aspiring to higher levels in politics, what is your dream?
My dream is to become the first female President of Zambian. But for now, from ward Councillor I will be contesting as a mayor, then Member of Parliament.
Would you like assess the performance of the government of Zambia?
For now, I cannot comment on the performance of the government of Zambia.
Are you involved in charity works in your community, would you like to share your experience?
The experience has been awesome because I work with the middle class, the poor and physically challenged people that are not really given a voice by our government for so many years. This has made me to love my work the more. I love what I do because God is using me to touch the lives of the vulnerable.