Saturday, 11 March 2017

Rashida Mulenga: Kalulushi Mayor With An Ambitious Plan

Kalulushi Mayor Rashida Mulenga (Center), Town Clerk
 Seke Mbulo (left) and Deputy Mayor Modester Kabwe
 (right) before a Full Council meeting last week
By Paul Shalala in Kalulushi

At 33 years old, Rashida Mulenga is one of the youngest Mayors in the country.

She was elected last year as Kalulushi Mayor during the general elections.

Rashida was not a surprise candidate for this position.

She has been an active member of the ruling Patriotic Front since 2011.

In 2015, she was elected PF Kalulushi Constituency Women’s Chairperson.

This is how her ambitious plan to serve the people of Kalulushi was born.

“Initially, I wanted to serve people at a different level, but the people themselves asked me to stand as a Mayor. This is because we did a lot of community work in Kalulushi,” said Rashida in an interview at her home.

She leads a male dominated council.

Out of the 22 Councilors in Kalulushi, only two are women.

One councillor, Febby Mulenga Simwanza of Lulamba ward is serving her second five year term while the other female councillor Maureen Mwape of Lukoshi ward is in her first term.
Kalulushi Councillors during a Full Council meeting last week
Despite all this, Rashida dreams big for Kalulushi.

“We want to transform Kalulushi into an industrial town. We have already identified land east of the town where we want to take the Central Business District. We will move most government departments and construct shopping malls and hotels in the new CBD.”

Late last year during the Local Government association of Zambia (LGAZ) annual general meeting held in Ndola, Rashida was elected unopposed as the LGAZ Vice President for the Copperbelt Province.

This propelled her to the national executive committee of the organisation which represents Zambia’s over 1,600 Councillors, Mayors and Council Chairpersons.

Aside of politics, the Mayor of Kalulushi is a mother.

She has seven children to take care of.

Rashida is married to prominent Copperbelt businessman Godfrey Kangwa, who is popularly known as Shi Mumbi.

But how does she share time between family and politics?

“When am at home am a mother who helps the children with home work and I also cook for my mother. I need to do these house chores because as a wife, I need to do my traditional duties despite being a politician,” said Rashida.

Today, she maybe living her dreams, but the road to success has not been all rosy.

She at one time was homeless in Lusaka before she made it in life.

Kalulushi Member of Parliament Kampamba Mulenga
“Life has not been easy to me. After the death of one of my parents, we witnessed real property grabbing. I became homeless and guess who gave me shelter: the girlfriend to my stepfather. I want to encourage people who are suffering, you do not know what God has for you, stay strong and pray to him.”

At 33 years of age, Rashida may have achieved a lot in politics.

But she also has educated herself with the highest paper being a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Management Institute of Southern Africa which she completed last year.

This year, she enrolled at the same institution and she is now pursuing an Honours Degree in Public Administration.

For now as she continued being driven in her official mayoral vehicle whose number plate is KMC 1, the preoccupation of the first resident of Kalulushi is to see her town graduate from a municipality to a city in the near future.

Kalulushi only has one constituency and the Member of Parliament is also a lady Kampamba Mulenga, Zambia’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services.

Despite sharing the same surname, the Kalulushi Mayor and MP are not related.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally aired on TV1's Morning Live program on 9 March 2017. The TV report can be viewed on this YouTube link. 


  1. Focussed Mayor and good coverage Paul, keep it up.

    1. Thanks alot Your Worship. I need to do a profile of you in the coming months, should be in Mumbwa soon