Sunday, 30 April 2017

Zimbabwe's “Electronic Votes:" Setting The Facts Straight

The gadget used for electronic voting
By Ray Mwareya

There have been a number of publications in the Zimbabwe media, quoting comments from various ‘experts’, and citing developments elsewhere, using these to cast aspersions on the use of biometrics in the upcoming 2018 Zimbabwe elections. 

Examples of these publications are “Red Flag over Biometric Registration” (The Herald, 11 March 20017), “France’s Cancellation of e-voting: Eye-opener for Zim” (The Herald 9 March 2017), “BVR, A Luxury We Cannot Afford” (The Herald, 13 March 2017 – Editorial Comment) and most recently “More Thumbs Down for Biometric Voting” (The Herald, 15 March 2017). 

This effort has been systematic and sustained, culminating into a Newsday publication (16 March 2017) screaming “2018 Polls Hang in Balance”. 

All this comes after the tender process has commenced and a shortlist of companies compiled – maybe just a coincidence. 

This however is the political side of the process which the author will leave to political analysts.  

What these publications revealed was a clear lack of understanding of the Biometric Voter Registration process. 

This lack of understanding and “mis-information” is being used to discredit the process culminating in the set-up of an agenda giving cues to the abandonment of the biometrics project. 

This article is intended to correct some of this misinformation and misinterpretation of developments elsewhere. 

It also aims to clarify the proposed Biometric Voter Registration and Verification process (BVR) which Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is proposing, and has been successfully used in other countries.  

The common theme in these publications has been the misconception that ZEC is going to implement ‘biometric voting or electronic voting’.  

This then set the basis for the claim that the system would be susceptible to ‘cyber-attacks’ and ‘hacking’  which would derail the voting process and dis-enfranchise voters, citing France’s abandonment of electronic voting as an example. 

ZEC is not proposing to implement ‘biometric or electronic voting’; it is proposing a model of BVR which is very different from electronic voting (even though it can be used as a launch pad for electronic voting). 

Additionally, the process being proposed is not more vulnerable to cyber-attacks or hacking than any other electronic voter’s register or database. 

This will be further explained in this article.

The call for the employment of technology in Zimbabwe for both voter registration and facilitation of the electoral process is not new. 

The issue has been raised in parliament several times.

The intention to introduce biometrics in Zimbabwe for the 2018 elections has enhanced ZEC’s credibility, and should be applauded as a step in the right direction. 

Zimbabwe is not re-inventing the wheel, but is following in the footsteps of other countries including Ghana, Benin, Tanzania, Togo, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, DRC and Nigeria among others, which have successfully pioneered this technology.

Before, dealing with the issues that are being raised in the recent publications, a brief explanation of biometrics is given here. 

Biometrics refers to human physical and behavioral characteristics such as fingerprints, the iris, signature, face etc. 

These can be used to uniquely identify an individual.  

This concept is definitely not new! Zimbabwe has been collecting people’s biometrics for decades; everyone has to have a picture taken and fingerprints captured to obtain a national identity (ID) or passport.  

This background and reference is important because BVR is just similar to this process.  

In BVR, a voter’s details (name date of birth, address etc) are digitally captured and stored alongside their biometric features (face and fingerprints) on a computer– that’s it. Nothing more nothing less! 

The advantage of this system is that these biometric features can be used to uniquely identify an individual in a computerized way and additionally, there is inbuilt software to identify and eliminate duplicate voters/registrants; leading to a clean voters roll.

The deployment of personnel for the purpose of collecting BVR information is not different to that done in order to register people in the “old way”.  

Personnel will be trained and equipped with mobile voter registration kits. 

These are portable devices designed to create electoral rolls; equipment that is reusable, extensible and resistant to adverse conditions. 

These devices are self-contained, autonomous units supported by long-life batteries and can be used in remote areas for registration, even within homesteads. 

In the end, what is compiled is a normal database or electoral register which includes biometrics information.

The second part of the process is voter verification or authentication which happens on voting day. 

This is whereby a person appears on voting day, presents an ID or provides a name. 

The person’s biometrics face and/or fingerprints are then captured and compared to those in the computer database (biometric voters’ register). 

Again mobile biometric kits/stations are available to achieve this, enabling penetration of remote areas.  

If there is a match, the person is verified, gets a ballot paper and continues to vote (manually) in the normal way

The person’s details are then digitally marked as having voted and cannot be used for repeat voting (no need for ink). 

This is NOT electronic or biometric voting, but manual voting as we are used to!  

The other dominant theme of the publications attacking the BVR process was the ‘susceptibility to hacking and cyber-attacks’. 

A biometric voter register, as mentioned before, is no different from any electoral register (as prescribed by the Electoral Act) or any other database. 

Therefore it’s susceptibility to hacking and cyber-attacks should just be at the same level; but this is not even the case as these biometric databases are more robust and designed to protect the sensitive personal information they contain. 

The issue of data privacy features dominantly in the development of biometric processes. 

Consequently, the BVR process has inbuilt protection included in the software packages (for example, template protection) which makes it more robust than the current electronic register which has been used in the previous elections. 

It is difficult to hack, and even if the data is somehow stolen it would be in an unusable format for the perpetrator. 

It is accepted that the outcry might have been based on the misconception that “electronic voting” and automatic tallying of votes would be carried out; an assumption which is very wrong.

Another debate and negative concept being cast about the BVR process is its perceived cost, but before delving into the intricacies of financial cost, it is important to look at why Zimbabwe has embarked on this path. 

It is not by accident that ZEC has embarked on the Biometrics project. 

The history of disputed elections and unclean/suspicious voter registers is a known political burden to Zimbabwe. 

This has damaged the credibility of Zimbabwe elections leading to violence, leading to loss of lives, people being displaced and some fleeing the country. 

The cost in terms of human lives and the country’s economy has been monumental and cannot be quantified. 

It is clear that the current scenario cannot be sustained, and an improvement/change in the electoral process is crucial. 

Reverting to the use of national IDs or licences will create the same cycle of rigging accusations and discrediting of the electoral process – a vicious circle which needs to be avoided.

In 2012, ZEC said they would need about US$20 million to spruce up the widely-condemned roll after which constituency boundaries would be drawn up for general elections(The Herald 21/12/12). 

It is on record that a proposal for biometrics registration was made at that time, detailing that the exercise could be carried out within 3 months, costing USD20 Million; the same figure that ZEC had said it needed to clean up the voters’ roll!

The current proposal for BVR is based on a budget of US$29 million; to produce a NEW clean and credible voters’ roll – surely not an expensive exercise especially if put into context of what it will achieve. 

The cost of acquiring the equipment needed is no more than US$15 million. 

Therefore the “unaffordability” claim is unfounded. 

Furthermore UNDP had offered to fund the BVR procurement process through their structures to ensure transparency, a proposal which has now been rejected for ‘sovereignty’ reasons. 

However the government has now made US$17 million available to fund the process. 

In addition, this process is sustainable, and will be much cheaper in the next elections (no/low procurement cost) in addition to the bonus of sustainable dispute free elections.

Having said all that, BVR in itself does not guarantee successful, fair or credible elections. 

The author does not propose the use of biometrics as a “silver bullet” capable overcoming all obstacles Zimbabwe faces in ensuring a level playing field in which all eligible voices have their say in the political future of the country.  

Its effectiveness can only be recognised if applied in tandem with the political-will and sincerity of authorities in charge, who are tasked with guaranteeing fairness and ensuring inclusion of all citizens.  

Biometric technology cannot solve problems rooted in issues such as mistrust among stakeholders or lack of political freedoms. Elections, at the end of the day, are a political process.

In spite of all the challenges, the introduction of biometrics in the compilation of voter registers should improve the accuracy of the voter registers and provide the foundation for clean and violence free elections. 

Ghana has used biometric registration and verification in three consecutive elections (the latest occasion being in 2016) proving that the process can be reliable and sustainable.  

It is therefore urged that ZEC and all stakeholders embrace biometrics technology to ensure integrity, inclusiveness, accuracy, transparency and accessibility in the coming elections. 

The media should act responsibly and report facts accurately, and ZEC should take a pro-active role in explaining the BVR process and educating the public.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Zambia Starts Decentralising Mental Health Services

The Ndola Psychiatry Hospital under construction
By Paul Shalala in Ndola

Zambia has started decentralising psychiatry services in a bid to offer mental health services to a segment of the society which suffers stigma and discrimination.

At present, the country only has one psychiatry hospital in Lusaka: Chainama Hills Hospital.

With the increase in population and the increase in the number of people with mental problems, the need for these health services keeps growing.

This is why the Zambian government has decided to build mental hospitals in all the 10 provinces of the country.

Dr. Chitalu Chilufya (middle) touring the hospital recently
The first of such hospitals is being built in Ndola on the Copperbelt.

The structure, which is being built at the cost of K14 million is almost complete, only roofing, painting and plumbing are remaining.

The Ndola Psychiatry Hospital will have a bed capacity of 154.

The health facility is expected to open its doors to the public in July this year.

“This Psychiatry hospital will offer arrange of health services from mental health to offering refuge for drug addicts, alcoholics and rehabilitation for youths. Government wants to bring mental health services closer to people,” said Zambia’s Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya when he recently toured the construction site.

And Copperbelt Province Senior Works Supervisor Steven Makunku, who is supervising the whole project, says the facility will have several rooms for various purposes.

Dominic Chatewa 
“This hospital will have consultation rooms, a laundry room and facilities for rehabilitation. The good part I that the contractor Jearmy Enterprises is on schedule and will hand over the facility in July,” said Mr Makunku.  

The Ministry of Health has already deployed over 20 health workers to man the facility once its completed.

The team is led by Dr. Venevivi Banda, a Psychiatry specialist.

In Zambia, having a mental condition is so embarrassing that some family members are abandoned for fear of being ashamed.

This has led to many mental patients rooming the streets due to stigma.

For those who take care of them, mental patients are tied to trees or locked up in the houses to ensure they do not roam around.

But to those who are taken to the Chainama Hills Hospital for psychiatry treatment, the tag of ‘madness’ usually hangs on them.

This is why this move to decentralise mental health services across the country is being welcomed by mental health activists.

“As President of the Mental Health Advocacy and Support Initiative (MHASI), I am very delighted to learn of the development of mental healthcare facilities in Ndola. This current government has done exceptionally well in the area of promoting mental healthcare,” said Dominic Chatewa, a Lusaka-based mental health advocate.

Mr Chatewa, who himself was once treated at Chainama Hills Hospital, however says building psychiatry hospitals is not enough without a legal framework.

“As MHASI, we are still calling on the legislature to expedite the enactment of the 2021 Mental Health Bill which would replace the current archaic 1951 bill. The bill will set in motion a number of policy issues that will be of benefit to society,” he added.

The issue of mental health in Zambia is so sensitive that MHASI is among a handful of non-governmental organisations who openly advocate for the well being of mental patients.

People would not want to be associated with mental patients for fear of being labelled as a mental patients themselves.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Lack Of Libraries In Schools And How The Book Bus Is Helping

The Book Bus parked at Manyando community School in Kitwe
By Paul Shalala

It is a bus like any other, but this one is a special one.

It is a moving library.

It visits schools, providing books to schools were libraries don’t exist.

The Book Bus is an international non-governmental organisation which is providing this service in Malawi, Ecuador and Zambia.

In Zambia, The Book Bus drives to schools in Livingstone, Malambo and Kitwe where libraries do not exist.


And in Kitwe, Saint Anthony Community School was established in 1998 and this is the infrastructure where pupils have been learning from in the past 19 years.

When The Book Bus drives to the school, pupils at Saint Anthony Community School do not mind sitting on the ground to read the books.

All they want is to have a book which can help them learn.

Some times, children who are not enrolled at the school join in when they see the bus because they know that reading and learning is free of charge.
Pupils seated on the ground while reading books
at Saint Anthony Community School

"They teach us many things: how to read and write, we read different books which we don't have at our school," said Susan Mulowa, a Grade five pupil at Saint Anthony Community School.

According to management at this school, literacy levels have improved since the time The Book Bus started proving its mobile services here two years ago.


"This program is a good move. We have seen our learners improve in reading. There are some sounding letters, words and are able to read fluently. So we appreciate so much. If we compare last year and this year, there is change," said Saint Anthony Community School Headteacher Sydney Mankompa.

And in Bulangililo area within Kitwe, Manyando Community School is another beneficiary.

Here, the infrastructure is okay and pupils all learn while seated on desks.

The refurbished Children's Section at the
Kitwe City Library
And they have various stories to tell about this version of school work.

"I enjoy reading because it is very inspirational and The Book Bus helps me read every day," said Michelle Zulu, a pupil at Manyando Community School who dreams of becoming a journalist in future.

The lack of a library at Manyando Community School has been a challenge for management who have been making efforts to teach pupils without books.

Mwape Meki, the Headteacher at Manyando Community School had this to say: "In terms of literacy levels, we are a bit struggling like most schools but with the help of partners like The Book Bus, we are trying to get ourselves out of that." 


Michelle Zulu, a pupil at Manyando Community School
reading a book
Across the country, over two thousand pupils are receiving the services being offered by this mobile library for free.

The volunteers who work for The Book Bus combine reading and artistic lessons to help the pupils learn.

"We are trying to fill up the gap by providing this mobile library service because we get to drive to places where libraries are non existent. When we get into the bush like in Mfuwe which is 60 kilometers outside, we provide this service freely in areas where these kids don't have it," said The Book Bus Project Director Monica Mulenga.

At the Kitwe City Library, The Book Bus has refurbished the children section and stocked it with books.

However, very few pupils visit this section.

Most of the times, this section of the library remains underutilized despite being rich in books.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Cynthia Sichula: Stuck On Wheelchair But Teaches Five Grades

Cynthia Sichula in class with her pupils
By Paul Shalala in Luanshya

Hers, is a life lived against the odds.
With almost everything seeming to be against her, Cynthia Sichula has triumphed over her ills.

For years, she lived an ordinary and relatively healthy life of a teacher.
But little did she know, that she had a serious affliction.

She was struck with gangrene.
Gangrene is potentially a life threatening condition that happens when body tissues die,

At its worst a body part begins to rot and amputation is inevitable.
In April 2009, Cynthia’s gangrene had wasted both her legs at the knee and doctors had no option but to amputate.

"I got gangrene, i didn't know that disease. I was just told by the doctor, he explained to me. Both of my legs started drying up, i stopped feeling pain. Doctors decided to remove both legs so that in future i may wear those plastic limbs. I actually got sick on 31st December 2008 as we were going into 2009 and four months later i was amputated," said Cynthia.And so ended her life as a teacher.
Confined to a wheel chair, Cynthia had difficulties in getting a job as a teacher.

To make matters worse, her husband also lost his job at Luanshya Copper Mines when the company was placed under maintenance and care.
With both of them out of employment, Cynthia decided to form Zyuka Nursery and Primary School inside her two bedroom house in Luanshya’s Section 25 area.

"I just decided to open a school here in my living room. The school is three years old now and i have pupils from nursery to Grade four."

For the past three years that the school has been in operation, a number of pupils have passed through her hands and gone on to continue with higher education.
This is her consolation.

"I have taught many pupils at this school, some are even in upper schools. Even these who are here are very sharp. Very soon they will go to higher schools like Nkambo Primary School because here i don't have Grade five," she said.

Her condition does not make it easy for her to teach as she is confined to here wheel chair and movements restricted.

One of her challenges is writing on the board.
Cynthia Sichula listening to her pupils in class
"As for the Grades ones and the babies, someone has to move around and check what they are doing and how they are responding to the lessons. And the space here is too small, i cant move with my wheelchair to check them."

Her son, who is one of her pupils, helps out, though his assistance is limited.
But Cynthia is undaunted.

"I'm appealing to the First Lady Mrs Esther Lungu to help me with the building of the school, as you can see the classroom is too small. I only have two desks and a board," said Cynthia.
But her teaching has NOT been in vain.

Her pupils are sharp and very alive to current affairs.
When this blogger visited the school, he heard them recite the name of the President, names of all previous Presidents, Zambia's first female Vice President and the country's youngest ever diplomat Vernon Mwaanga.

The young boys and girls enjoy being taught by their sole teacher.

"She teaches very well and she is sharp," said one of the female Grade Two pupils.
And her neighbours marvel at her endurance.

"Children from this school are doing very well and the owner is making an impact in our neighbourhood. The lady needs alot of help from wellwishers," said James Katempa.
It is obvious that Cynthia is one of those rare souls, who remain undaunted and keep going even when it is darkest.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally aired on TV1's Morning Live program on 6th April 2017 and it can be watched here.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Zambia Launches US$45 Million World Bank Funded TB Project

The banner for the TB project
By Paul Shalala

Mining activities in Zambia bring the much needed revenue for development.

Being the second largest copper producer in Africa, Zambia largely depends on taxes from the mines to cushion its coffers.

However, mining has its own effects on people's health.

Tuberculosis (TB) is one disease which is predominantly found in mining towns.

For example, the Copperbelt Province has the highest cases of TB among provinces in the country.

According to Ministry of Health records, out of every 100,000 Copperbelt residents, about 1,112 have TB.

This figure is higher than the national average for 2014 which stood at 39 TB cases per 100,000 residents in 2014, according to World Health Organisation (WHO)’s TB Country Profile for Zambia.

Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya
“TB is an emergency. It must be fought in an urgent manner. We need a multi-sectoral approach to defeat it,” said Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya in Kitwe yesterday when he launched the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health System Support Project.

The World Bank funded project is aimed at fighting TB in mining towns where thousands of residents are patients.

The World Bank has incorporated the Ministries of Health, Labour and Mines to implement the project, with the Ministry of Health being the lead.

In the next five years, the three ministries will work together to fight TB in the mining sector.

“The impact of TB on the economy is big. Loss of productivity, loss of man hours and the loss of family income,” added Dr. Chilufya.

Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko, believes that the project will help miners access health services.

Labour Minister Joyce Simukoko
“My office has been receiving cases of miners fearing to report their illnesses to their superiors for fear of being fired. I want to warn employers that we will not spare anyone who threatens workers. They deserve to have medical help,” said Mrs Simukoko.

Meanwhile, World Bank Country Manager Ina Ruthenberg disclosed that the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health System Support Project is being implemented in a total of four Southern African countries at the total cost of US$122 million.

She named the countries as Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia.

“The project will therefore support the implementation of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Heads of State Declaration of 2012 on TB as an Emergency in the Mining Sector and will also support the region and Zambia’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, which include TB and the World Health Organisation’s End TB Targets,” said Ms Ruthenberg in a speech read for her by World Bank Senior Health Specialist Ronald Mutasa at the launch of the project.

In the course of the implementation phase, a Center of Excellence will be built at the Kitwe-based Occupational Health and Safety Institute where equipment will also be installed.
World Bank Senior Health Specialist Ronald Mutasa

The equipment will help in early detection and surveillance of TB.

According to Occupational Health and Safety Institute Director Dr. Connard Mwansa, the Center of Excellence will make service delivery easy for the miners.

"We will be able to conduct various services we do not currently do. Most cases we refer miners to the hospital but when get the equipment, we will be able to provide alot of services at the center," said Dr. Mwansa in an interview.

Meanwhile, two unions in the mining sector have welcomed the Southern Africa Tuberculosis and Health System Support Project saying it will save many lives.

"We thank the World Bank for the US$45 million project. this will help the Occupational Health and Safety Institute finish the office they are constructing in Solwezi. As you know, the North Western Province has a number of mines and this project will help in our members there to be served in their area," said Mine Workers Union of Zambia General Secretary Joseph Chewe.

Another mine union had similar sentiments.

"This investment by the World Bank will go a long way. It will make the Occupational Health and Safety Institute a One Stop Shop for miners. This will save thousands of our members who are affected by Tuberculosis," said National Union of Miners and Allied Workers President James Chansa in an interview.

By law, any person who is employed as a miner is supposed to be examined by the Occupational Health and Safety Institute which is located at the Mine Safety Department in Kitwe.

Every year, miners are also expected to be tested at the institute at least once to check their fitness.

This workload, which sees thousands of miners besieging the institute's offices, makes the job a bit difficult for the workers and the idea of a mobile team to be testing the miners in various mines and towns is being piloted. 

According to the WHO’s 2015 Country TB profile for Zambia, the southern African country recorded five thousand deaths due to TB in that year.

The report also revealed that 41, 588 TB cases where reported in 2015.

Zambia has only had one prevalence survey of Tuberculosis.

The National Tuberculosis Prevalence Survey 2013 – 2014 revealed that TB occurs three times higher in urban areas than in the rural areas.

In terms of gender, the survey revealed that more males were burdened by the disease than females.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story was originally aired on TV1 on 30 March 2017 and it can be watched here. A follow up story specifically on the Regional Center of Excellence was also aired on TV1 on 01 April 2017 and its YouTube link can be accessed here.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Nathan Chanda: From A Street Vendor To Luanshya Mayor

Nathan Chanda during his installation in September 2016
By Paul Shalala in Luanshya

He holds the record of being the youngest Mayor ever elected in Zambia. 

In 2011, he was aged 26 when Councilors in the mining town of Luanshya elected him Mayor. 

He served in that position for two and half years until his term expired.

And this young Mayor is popularly known as Nathan Chanda, though these names are his first and middle names.

Actually, Nathan’s surname is Bwalya.

But in the political world, people refer to him as Mr. Chanda instead of Mr. Bwalya.

However, this does not bother him.

He uses Nathan Chanda even on his campaign posters during elections.

But who is Nathan Chanda?

"Nathan Chanda is the last born of Mr and Mrs Bwalya. I was born on 5th February 1985 at Roan General Hospital. I did my pre-school at Bwafwano Community School. Then i did my Grade one to seven at Makoma Basic School, then i went to Chaisa Middle Basic School for Junior Secondary and completed my Secondary education at Roan Antelope High School," said Nathan in an interview at his residence.

He later studied for a Bachelor in Development Studies at the Zambia Open University.

His life is one that inspires many.

He did not have a privileged upbringing but he fought his way to the top.

In the year 2001 when his father was retrenched from the mines, he received K300 kwacha from his parent’s terminal benefits and decided to hit the streets to sell airtime.

Actually, his older siblings got more money from their father.

The eldest was allocated K500 while the second one went away with K400.

From being a street vendor, he developed himself to a level where he has become an entrepreneur who currently owns a shopping mall within Luanshya.
Nathan with President Edgar Lungu in Ndola

"I started a booth in Roan and later i moved into town where i was selling talk time as an agent of mobile phone providers. I later graduated into renting a shop. From there i decided to build my own shopping mall where we have 15 shops which are on lease," he said.

Apart from business, Nathan is a politician.

He says due to his height, people used to nickname him as FTJ in reference to Zambia’s second President the late Frederick Chiluba who was also short.

He joined the Patriotic Front (PF) in 2003 and because of his young age, he struggled to make it through the ranks for elected office.

"In 2010 when we had a by-election where i stay, i expressed interest to stand but i wasn't given an opportunity for so many reasons. One of them is that i was young, i was not married, people talked of so many things. But when Mr Adam Zulu was adopted, we went flat out to campaign and he won."

In the Patriotic Front, Nathan is currently serving as the Copperbelt Province Youth Chairperson.

He has held this position since 2011 and before that; he served at different levels of the ruling party.

Nathan started as a Ward Information and Publicity Secretary, later becoming Roan Constituency Vice Secretary and in 2008, he was elected PF Luanshya District Youth Chairman.

The following year he was elevated to Provincial Vice Treasurer before becoming full Treasurer a year later.

He held the Treasurer position until 2011 when he became Copperbelt Province Youth Chairman, a position he currently holds.

In last year’s general elections, Nathan applied for adoption to contest the Roan Constituency Parliamentary seat on the ruling party ticket.

This meant that he was challenging the then Information Minister Chishimba Kambwili who was hoping to recontest the seat for a third consecutive five year term.

The rivalry between the two contestants was so hot that intervention was sought from the Central Committee, the PF's highest leadership structure which later pacified the situation.

The Central Committee decided to remove Nathan from the parliamentary shortlist and adopted him as the Mayoral candidate for Luanshya.

He later stood and won the seat, occupying the mayoral seat for the second time.

Nathan is not just a politician and Mayor for Luanshya; he is also a family man.

He is married and has three children: Mwamba, Chanda and Kapaya.
Nathan with his wife Chisoswa and his three sons

But how does he share time between politics and family?

"I always have little time for my family. Politics eats most of my time. But i try my best to catch up and i miss my family so much. But the good part is that i'm married to the most wonderful wife in this world who understands politics very well," said Nathan.

His wife Chisoswa is so proud of her husband.

She tips him for higher positions due to his determination in life.

"Am proud, yes am proud of him because of his determination in life. He has come very far and he is one person who never gives up on his dreams. And one thing i like telling my husband is that never let anyone take you down because i know he can achieve alot because the spirit he has, he can go far," said Chisoswa.

Nathan says he has not yet reached his potential, he dreams of possibly serving this country as the Republican President.

At the age of 32, Nathan is one of the three youngest Mayors in the country.

Two other Mayors Christopher Kangombe of Kitwe and Prince Chileshe of Kabwe are also aged 32.

Nathan leads the mining town of Luanshya which he hopes to transform into a viable municipality when his current five year term expires in 2021.

At national level, Nathan is the Chairperson of the Zambian chapter of the Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders Initiative for Community Action on AIDS in Africa (AMICALL).

He was first elected to that position in 2011 for a five year term and last year, he was re-elected to a second term.

At the continental level, he is the Vice President for Africa at AMICALL.

He was elected to that continental position in 2013 for a five year term which ends in 2018.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This profile was originally aired on TV1's Morning Live program on 16 March 2017 and it can be watched on this YouTube link.