Meet Professor Nkandu Luo; President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s running mate unveiled this morning. It has come as a huge surprise to many! Prof Luo holds two Master’s Degrees and a PhD.
Luo was born in Lubwa Mission Hospital in Chinsali on 21 December 1951. Her parents were both teachers and Luo was one of eight surviving children. She attended Roma Girls Secondary School and Dominican Convent. She has a MSc in microbiology from Moscow State University and a MSc and PhD in immunology from Brunei University.
Luo worked at Saint Mary’s Hospital in London. She became a professor in microbiology and immunology at the University of Zambia in 1993 and worked as Head of Pathology and Microbiology at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. She has published numerous journal articles on HIV/AIDS.
Luo was elected to parliament representing the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in the Mandevu constituency in 1996. She served as Deputy Minister of Health from 1997–1999 and Health Minister in 1999. She was Minister of Transport and Communications from 1999–2001.
Luo created a network of thirty national AIDS advocacy groups and founded non-profit organisation Tasintha, which seeks to free Zambia from commercial sex-work and HIV/AIDS. She established the National AIDS Control program, the National Blood Transfusion Service and the Prevention of Mother to Child transmission of HIV/AIDS program.
Luo was later on elected as the Patriotic Front representative for Munali constituency. She was appointed Minister of Local Government and Housing by President Michael Sata, serving from 2011–2014, and then became Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs from 2014–2015. Luo was sworn in as Minister of Gender by President Edgar Lungu in February 2015. In March 2016, Luo was adopted as President of the Women Parliamentary caucus at the 134th Inter Parliamentary Union conference in Lusaka. In September 2016, she became Zambia’s Higher Education Minister before moving to Ministry of Livestock up to 2021.
With this wealth of experience as an academician, civil servant, international thought leader and respected politician, she is now the running mate to the Patriotic Front Presidential candidate.