Swazi queen plans to visit Zambia

SWAZI first lady Inkhosikati Make LaMbikiza has indicated her willingness to be present when Zambia launches her version of the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction in Maternal Mortality (CARMM) early next year.

This was disclosed by Zambian first lady Thandiwe Banda after paying a courtesy call on King Mswati III at Lozitha palace on Wednesday night.

Mrs Banda said she would ensure that she worked towards the launch of CARMM Zambia before the end of February 2010 to enable Inkhosikati Make LaMbikiza attend the official kick-off of Zambia’s fight against maternal mortality.

“I was received very well by his majesty and the queen, and I felt very welcome. This is and indication of the warm relations that exist between our two countries. His majesty has even allowed Inkhosikati Make Lambikiza to come and attend the launch of CARMMZ next year,” said Mrs Banda who was accompanied to the palace by Zambian ambassador to Mozambique Agness Ngoma.

Mrs Banda said King Mswati III expressed his gratitude at her attendance of Swaziland’s launch of CARMM, which is an African Union initiative aimed at scaling up the fight against maternal mortality.

She said maternal mortality had afflicted most sub-Saharan African countries, hence the need to tackle it vigourously.

Meanwhile, Mrs Banda today visited the Swazi Indigenous Products Factory in Mpaka where she was taken on a conducted tour of the facility which manufactures various products from the Marula tree.

Also known as the “home of Swazi Secrets”, the factory exports its products to five European countries and the United States of America.

Mrs Banda said she was impressed by the ingenuity of Swazi women who support their families by collecting the Marula seeds and selling to the company.

“I was impressed even more because it is the local women who collect the seed which is used for various purposes. If these women can do this, even our women in Zambia can do it,” Mrs Banda said.

She said even the baobab tree, which is found in Zambia, had multiple value and she would be glad too see some experts from Swaziland lend their expertise to Zambian people.

Mrs Banda returns to Lusaka tomorrow after her three-day visit to this mountainous kingdom at the invitation of Inkhosikati Make LaMbikiza.

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