Gender equality: Mahoka hits out at male MPs

By Daniel Chigundu

Hurungwe East legislator Sarah Mahoka has taken a sharp swipe at male legislators accusing them of using their riches to shut women out of top positions.

Women in the country have complained that they cannot compete with men at the same levels adding that they do not have matching resources.

Although Zimbabwe has made some commendable progress in trying to bring equality between men and women through the constitution, it has lagged behind when it comes to implementation.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Honourable Mahoka said Parliament should not be just making laws but should also be on the forefront when it comes to implementation.

“…let us address that in our constitution which was voted for by our Members of Parliament.  They said there should be a 50/50 representation not just in Parliament but you do not see men standing up here and saying we should go 50/50.

“They oppose women and shut the door for women because they have already made a lot of money.  Let us start by stopping the rot in Parliament.  There should be 105 males and 105 female Members of Parliament.

“I believe that when you have a lot of money, you are a father and a Member of Parliament and have a wife.  Bring your wife to be a Member of Parliament. What we want is a woman, a genuine woman.  If you have made money and you can campaign for her, do so to enable us to become equal in this august House,” she said.

Honourable Mahoka added that Parliament should be practical when it comes to implementation of laws and not make laws that are shelved.

“Let us be practical as Honourable Members.  We should use the law appropriately.  We should not just give the police the law to arrest particular individuals but we want police officers to be allowed to also arrest Members of Parliament if we do not have enough numbers,” she said.

However, according to Norton legislator Temba Mliswa, female legislators are doing nothing and are just an unnecessary burden to the fiscus.

“…Members who come here on proportional representation such as Honourable Tsitsi Gezi, they are coming here, what are they doing?  What are the 70 women coming to do here?  It is actually being a burden on the finance.  Where are they?  Who is she representing?

“My point is that Parliament is already too bloated and the Minister once said. There is the question of the women Ministers.  I have come with women representatives and I am saying they represent the women.

“Where is she?  This Bacossi for Honourable Members is not good.  We are sick and tired of this,” said Mliswa.

According Harare West legislator Jessie Majome, female legislators are equal citizens and should not be subjected to derogatory language.

“Madam Speaker, I think Honourable Members who use derogatory language against women in this Parliament are prohibited in terms of the Standing Rules and Orders and must be disciplined.

“The Senate is a whole House of this Parliament that is full of proportional representation MPs, but only because some of the proportional representation Members of Parliament are men, some Members of Parliament who make fun of female Members of Parliament do not make fun of Senators,’ she said.

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