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 2010-05-15 04:17 pm Back to NEWS
My aspiration is to lead Zambia, says Maureen
 Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa

Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa has said her aspiration is to one day lead Zambia.

And Maureen has said life hasnít been easy living on a US $1,000.00 monthly allowance which she receives from government.

Maureen was speaking in an interview with the BBC Network Africa.

Asked whether she missed being the first lady, Maureen said she didnít because she had her chance and was looking forward to becoming a president one day.

ďI donít, I had my chance. My next aspiration is not to become a first lady of course because if I aspire to become a first lady I must find a president to get married to. Iím not interested in that. My next aspiration is one day to lead this country,Ē she said.

Responding to a question about her having been a flamboyant first lady, Maureen said flamboyant may not be the right word but that she was a tough woman and that led to people thinking there were two presidents running the country.

ďI was very hard to the extent that I donít even have to say it myself but ask Zambians, they believed they had two presidents in State House

Asked if she was ruling the country, Maureen said her late husband was just lucky to have a supportive partner.

ďThatís what they assumed but I was not ruling the country but to say that president Mwanawasa was lucky to have had a very very supportive partner and thatís the way it is supposed to be,Ē Maureen said.

Meanwhile, Maureen said life has not been easy since the death of her husband as she faces quite a number of challenges.

ďIt hasnít been easy but maybe the advantage I have is that my husband gave me the encouragement when he was still alive. He gave me room to be myself, to be courageous, to work hard and my family, friends have been there for me and just the inspiration that Iíve lost a person who was really vigorous, courageous, so somehow we seem to have imitated part of his character,Ē she said.

She said it was difficult to move on as she was still mourning her husband and raising their young children single handedly was proving to be a great challenge.

Maureen said the retirement package of heads of state, worse still for her as a spouse who does not get what the presidents get was insufficient.

ďI canít rely on that. They give 50 per cent. That 50 per cent may sound exciting but in dollar terms Iíll tell you I get a US $1,000 per month, in Zambian terms its just about K5 million plus. My school-going children, they are in private schools, one of them requires about US $2,000 per term, my daughter in London has to pay 10,000 ponds per year, that is just for fees, less accommodation and air transport,Ē she said.

Maureen further said she decided that since this life was unsustainable and she cannot manage to educate her children on her US $1,000 allowance, she would use her educational advantage to work in order to make life better.

ďIím lucky that Iím educated, Iím a lawyer by profession and Iíve got a masters degree and Iíve got an honorary degree in law so what Iíve done, Iíve gone back to set up a law practice and Iíll start working,Ē said Maureen.

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