Former commercial sex worker-turned politician says don’t judge me by my past
Mulenga said she should be judged on her present and future life as she is now a changed person.
The minister who spoke in Livingstone said she was deeply saddened by some Zambians who still refer to her past of being “a sex worker” when making reference to her.
She told Patriotic Front senior officials in Livingstone, “I am a changed person who deserve to be welcomed and accepted in the society.”
Before she joined politics and emerged as a minister, Ms Kampamba Mulenga was a known sex worker on the Copperbelt.
She is the only female Member of Parliament among the 22 lawmakers on the Copperbelt.
Newly elected Patriotic Front Kalulushi Member of Parliament Kampamba Mulenga has fought her way to Manda Hill.
She was among several female parliamentary candidates on the Copperbelt who were adopted by various political parties to contest the August 11 parliamentary elections.
However, all her friends lost and she pulled through alone.
Her victory is good news for gender activists but the fact that she is the only female MP in the second largest province in terms of registered voters, is a source of worry to people who follow women politics closely.
Between 2011 and 2016, the Copperbelt had four elected female Members of Parliament in Kabushi (Ndola), Chifubu (Ndola) Chililabombwe and Lufwanyama.
Kampamba’s election has proved that being consistent in politics can also take one to the national stage.
At a personal level, she is a mother of three who still does household chores like any other mother.
When this blogger met her for an interview, the Kalulushi MP was busy in the kitchen preparing food for her family.
Her rise to national prominence is out of hard work.
“I was first elected party District Treasurer. Later i was elected the first District Chairperson for the Patriotic Front in 2011. At that time, it was difficult to win such a position as a woman and we were still in opposition,” said Kampamba.
She says her hard work in the party led to late President Michael Sata recognising her and making her part of his government.
“President Sata later appointed me District Commissioner for Kalulushi.”
It is this civil service position which helped position Kampamba well with the people of Kalulushi, a town which has one constituency.
In that role, Kampamba was one of the few female District Commissioners on the Copperbelt.
And even after leaving the office a few years ago, she went back to politics and stealthily prepared for the adoptions ahead of the 2016 parliamentary elections.
As usual, she was pitted against men within the ruling party but she prevailed.
During the actual elections, she beat all the five men who stood against her.
Now that she has been elected, she has a few words for women on the Copperbelt.
“I will work hard and inspire more women to stand as MPs in 2021. We need more women to take up leadership positions. And for the people of Kalulushi, i want to assure them that i will not disapoint them, i will work towards my campaign promises and develop our constituency,” she said.
As she embarks on her five year tour of duty at Manda Hill, the hopes of people in Kalulushi is that she will carry on the mantle and deliver where men could have failed to deliver.
Kampamba is not the only woman elected in Kalulushi. A number of coucillors are female and the new Mayor of Kalulushi Rashida Mulenga is also female.