Helen Kadirire 7 May 2017
HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru yesterday led women from
various opposition parties calling for their increased participation and
representation in both Parliament and the government after next year’s
make-or-break national elections.
The campaign comes weeks after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and
Mujuru signed a much-talked about memorandum of understanding, in
preparation for the formation of a fully-fledged opposition alliance which
will take on President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF in 2018.
Uniting under a campaign dubbed #Hervotewins2018, the initiative seeks to
empower women to vote for each other in next year’s elections, as well as
participate as candidates in the watershed plebiscite.
Speaking at the launch in Harare, Mujuru said women should stop playing
second fiddle to men.
“A woman has to be independent and responsible at the same time. We have
to play the same role as men, but the problem in Zimbabwe is in the
implementation of reforms.
“Even if a woman is put in a leadership position, you will find another
woman coming to destroy the gains of the other.
“What was said in the national Constitution should be implemented
regardless of which political party one belongs to,” she said.
“If you become a leader, check whether you are following the guidelines
set out because if not, you will deprive other women of getting the same
opportunity. If you become a bad female leader you give men the leverage
to use that against other women.
“Right now, we are complaining about everything … but we forget that we
make mistakes from the start. What we do from the beginning will determine
the outcome of whatever it is that we are trying to achieve.
“When we go and choose leaders, do we really understand what we are
supposed to do?
“Choosing one woman over another does not mean you despise them, but
simply that those women may have better qualities for the job at hand. By
choosing the right woman you ensure that you get quality for your vote,”
Yesterday’s event was attended by representatives from the MDC, the
National People’s Party, Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe and the People’s
Democratic Party (PDP), among others.
Speaking at the same gathering, MDC vice-president Thokozani Khupe said
the electoral playing field should be levelled in next year’s elections.
“Zanu PF had it easy while the MDC struggled because of so many
hindrances, because the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) ignored our
“Now we want to be given the voters roll in electronic form before the
elections to afford us ample time to go through it, and to see whether
everyone is registered.
“Although we have a very high literacy rate, the statistics for assisted
voters are shocking. While there may be people who need to be assisted, we
want them to be helped by either a family member or a friend.
“We do not want the police or members of the army to go into the voting
booth with anyone,” Khupe said.