Dicksons Kateshumbwa, one of the contestants in the Sheema Municipality parliamentary race has opened up on the backlash that was sparked by photos of his campaign team distributing underwear to young girls in the constituency.
Social media went abuzz on Thursday after the pictures emerged on Thursday, with several condemning the act and others calling for an apology.
“There’s a new upsetting type of charity that’s going on lately. People giving out a packet of sanitary towels to mothers and taking their picture holding it. And then a candidate is giving out one knicker per woman and taking pictures. Y’all should stop this. STOP it’s not okay,” tweeted Sarah Biryomumaisho.
Demmy Kizza another social media user termed it as “humiliation at the lowest of the low.”
Madam giving out masks women are not objects. Pse don’t use them to attract them to your motives. Should have given them education, jobs they wouldn’t take your knickers pic.twitter.com/pLXJbOlmTx
— Demmy Kizza (@KizzaDemmy) August 6, 2020
However, while speaking to ChimpReports, Mr Kateshumbwa blamed his political opponents for sharing selective pictures on social media to cause the backlash.
He also accused the social media commentators of being out of touch with reality.
“The situation on the ground faced by girls in the village is different from the situation of those elites on social media,” he said.
“I have been in the village interacting with young girls who have gotten pregnant, and those who have dropped out of school because of menstrual issues. I have seen them crying. Those making noise have not seen what I have seen.”
The former URA Customs Commissioner also pointed out what he called double standards for those seeking to stigmatize his initiative.
“If you can give out free condoms, why won’t people react like this because it is also a sexual reproductive issue. Why are they angry because of knickers?”
Regarding the free knickers, Kateshumbwa said, the team was handing out an entire menstrual package to each girl, which included knickers and reusable sanitary pads.
“But someone went and picked a picture of knickers out of the entire package that was given and decided to vulgarize the whole idea, it is very unfortunate.”
The campaign which he said was being spearheaded by his friends he said, was helping over 1000 girls in Sheema.
“We intended to push this further; my wife with continue distributing these materials to the young girls even after the campaign and after the schools have been reopened,” he said.