New Information Minister’s first statement, urges Zambians to support First Lady

Mwansa Kapeya

Mwansa Kapeya

Government is surprised by the unfounded and malicious criticism raised against the First Lady, Dr. Christine Kaseba-Sata on her noble and charity work, and her meaningful contribution that she is making to the nation, as reported in some sections of the media.

Dr. Kaseba-Sata has taken up various health and poverty related issues as causes that she is championing. This is a hallmark of her supportive contributions to her husband, sector ministry and the nation at large.

Dr. Kaseba-Sata has also set up a charitable organisation called Ubutala bwa Bumi to help the underprivileged in society.

Her role and contribution to the health sector is not contradictory, but complimentary to Government’s efforts to take health care as close to the people as possible.

The charity work Dr Kaseba-Sata is doing of helping the under-privileged in society, is not unique to Zambia. It is standard practice by many Fist Ladies the world-over.

For example, America’s First Lady, Mrs Michelle Obama, spouse to USA President Barack Obama, has set up and launched an initiative called “Let’s Move”. This is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity in America.

Mrs Obama also supports many causes that include cancer, Children, Arts, Environment, Health, hunger Literacy and Peace initiatives.

In fact, the entire history of the USA, shows that from Mrs Martha Washington to Nancy Reagan, Hilary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, the First Ladies have very visible initiatives and support charitable causes that are adopted during their spouses reign at the White House.

As a matter of fact, the Razoo Survey of 2013 from Razoo, an influential online fundraising and donations group that raises funds for non-profit organisations, recognised that the causes that Mrs. Michelle Obama supported were likely to receive donations from Americans.

The survey also established that the First Lady was more likely to attract huge donations on crowd-funding platforms, for her initiatives and causes.

It is therefore advisable that the First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba Sata, must be supported for her initiatives and causes she champions. As a nation, we should encourage her to raise more resources for the benefit of the poor and under-privileged.

It is sad that while a few people wish to offer unfair criticism locally, renowned and reputable institutions and organisations have been recognising and appreciating the work that the First Lady has been doing in the country.

In May 2013, Dr. Kaseba-Sata received a frontline Award from the Global Coalition on Health in recognition of her work in women and children health issues. The Coalition also recognised her work in reproductive health, cervical cancer, and her efforts to improve maternal health.

And Dr Kaseba-Sata was also conferred with an Honorary Fellowship Award for her professional work as an Obstetrician-Gynaecologist at the 61st 2013 American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) Annual Clinical Meeting.

In September 2012, the First Lady was also honoured with the Global Leadership of Excellence Award by the cancer foundation – Susan G Komeni. The award recognised the exemplary personal commitment of Dr. Kaseba –Sata in the fight against cervical cancer in Zambia.

I call upon all well meaning Zambians to be wary of armchair critics bent on criticising good works of others for selfish motives.

It is time for every Zambian to be involved in the development of the country and the First Lady is setting a good example in this regard through the various charitable works she is doing aimed at uplifting people’s living standards.

Government therefore wishes to pay glowing tribute to the First Lady and calls on all well meaning Zambians to support her noble efforts in contributing to people’s wellbeing.


14th September, 2013