Margaret Daka – Zambia

Margaret Daka – Zambia

Date: June 7, 2012
  • SHARE:

Councillor Margaret Daka from Kitwe had been the Kitwe branch Chairperson for 16 years, and has acted as a campaign manager for other candidates before she decided to stand as a councillor herself. She believes that it was as a result of this political experience that she was able to stand for elections and succeed.

The problem with Margaret Daka’s ward, Kamakonde in Kitwe, is that there is no rural clinic in the Kamakonde ward, and women have to travel (often on foot) 20kms to get to the nearest one. She has been instrumental in tabling the motion for a clinic to be constructed, but the cost is high (about 375 million kwacha, to start) and the funds are low. She has only received 41 million kwacha from the CDF so far to do the foundations; they advise her that she will receive the rest later. She has been working closely with the Ministry of Health which is ultimately responsible for the clinic.

Another problem in the ward is the lack of market space. With higher unemployment levels among women, informal markets have the potential to benefit women by economically empowering them and giving them a space to trade that is clean and safe.

She has been trying to finish a job started by her predecessor improving the market space, but is hamstrung by a shortage of funds. He got as far as laying the foundation for the market and procuring the roofing materials, which are now sitting with him, and the money for the rest of the building has not been released; this money will only come next year. The problem is that the community thinks that it is her delaying this process. “They saw that things were moving, and now everything has stopped.” She claims that the reason the previous councillor was able to move with the project was because both he and MP were from the ruling party, and because she belongs to the opposition things have come to a standstill.

Rural constituencies are generally more vast and therefore more difficult to get around (especially for women with no transport). They are also generally worse off when it comes to services. As Councillor Daka put it “urban wards already have services whereas rural wards have no services”. Constituents’ expectations are high and sometimes out of the control of the councillors.


Comment on Margaret Daka – Zambia

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *