Sunday, April 15, 2012

Talk Freely About Political Challenges, Says Zimbabwe Vice-President Mujuru

Talk freely about political challenges, says Mujuru

Saturday, 14 April 2012 00:00
Herald Reporter

CABINET has agreed that people should be allowed to talk freely about challenges they face because of political differences so that they can forgive each other, Vice President Joice Mujuru has said.

She said this while officially launching the Group of 20 in Harare yesterday under the theme, “Mapping our future as Zimbabwean Women”.

The group comprises women
parliamentarians, those in Copac, civil society and the academia.

It was established to monitor the constitution-making process and ensure women’s issues were captured.

Goromonzi MP Cde Biata Nyamupinga chairs the group.

“We were talking about national healing in Cabinet yesterday (Thursday) where we agreed that people should forgive each other but of course, they should be allowed to talk about it openly,” said VP Mujuru.

“Forgiveness should come from the heart because one can say they want to be compensated with a beast for them to forgive but what if a hyena is to come the following day and devour it. Forgiveness should come from deep down our hearts.”

VP Mujuru urged women to unite in fighting patriarchy to achieve their goals.

She hailed the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus for spearheading unity among women in their quest to achieve gender equity.

“I urge members of the Group of 20 to rise above narrow partisan politics as you exercise this role,” she said.

“Our strategic thrust in this regard should be guided by our roles as mothers, wives, people’s representatives, leaders, church elders, professionals, businesspersons and not just political persuasion.”

VP Mujuru urged women to continue fighting until their issues were addressed.

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe congratulated the group for coming up with a united voice for women.

In a speech read on her behalf by the principal director in her office, Mrs Addelis Sibutha, DPM Khupe said genuine democracy could only exist where there was equal participation of women and men in politics and decision-making.

“The key right in human right activity is the right of women to participate in every aspect of life, political, social and economic as clearly stated in international conventions such as the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

“The absence of women from most important forums where critical political and economic issues are debated seriously challenges the claims of women to legal, economic and social rights,” DPM Khupe said.

Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Olivia Muchena said most issues that affect women had been provided for in the draft Constitution.

Minister Muchena, who is also the Zanu-PF secretary for the commissariat in the Women’s League and a member of the Copac Select Committee, said the draft Constitution had captured the 50-50 representation.

She urged women to persuade their political parties to respect the 50-50 representation.

Home Affairs Co-Minister Theresa Makone, who is the MDC-T chairperson for the Women’s Assembly, urged women to unite and fight in unison issues that affect them.

She said sometimes women were their worst enemies as they did not want to see one of them succeed.

MDC secretary-general Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who is also the Minister of Regional Integration and International Co-operation, said the biggest challenge women faced was to achieve the quota system at party level.

She urged women to be specific on what they want included in the new Constitution.

Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the Copac management committee was about to reach consensus on the quota system.

The launch was organised by the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, Women Parliamentary Caucus, Women in Politics Support Unit and Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.

No comments: