Men take House of Assembly: ZEC

via Men take House of Assembly: ZEC | The Zimbabwean by Edgar Gweshe

While senior female politicians fought it out for senatorial seats, the men secured a greater presence in the House of Assembly, according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Rita Makarau.

Speaking at a women’s conference organised by Women in Politics Support Unit and Self Help Development Foundation, Makarau said the introduction of the zebra system for senatorial seats created a platform for manipulation by male politicians.

WIPSU reported that the number of elected women candidates in the election dropped although the percentage of women in parliament increased from 19 to 34 percent.

The figures

In 2008, 14 percent of females parliamentarians were elected for the national house of assembly seats and the number rose to 32 percent in the 2013 polls.

However, this number translates to 12 percent, taking into account the quota system in the new constitution, reserving 60 seats for women. During the 2008 elections, 919 female candidates contested for political posts at different levels and 105 female contestants ran for the national house of assembly seats, compared to 575 males.

Adverse effects

In the recent polls, only 90 women contested for the national house of assembly seats compared to 603 male contestants.

“Women politicians may have resisted less when their counterparts were relegated to the party lists for the senate rather than being given space to contest for the national assembly seats,” said Makarau.

She hinted that the increase of women representatives could have discouraged effective female politicians from participating as constituent candidates.

“The legislated additional party list for women may also have had adverse effects on the participation of women. Political parties could have seen that the additional list was adequate and there was no need to field female candidates as constituent candidates,” she said.

The outgoing Deputy Minister in the women’s ministry, Jessie Majome, said women participate effectively in politics considering that the new constitution is gender sensitive.

Support women

“The risk is that women are going to concentrate on the quota system and contest against each other for the reserved seats. The focus should be on how to contest all the other seats because the additional 60 seats are already ours,” said Majome.

ZEC Vice Chairperson, Joyce Kazembe, urged women’s organisations and government ministries to capacitate aspiring female politicians.

“Economic issues are not the only barrier to effective participation of women in politics. Organisations should ensure women are supported with the knowledge and expertise on how they can be effective candidates,” said Kazembe.

“Take part in community activities and interact with the electorate at a grassroots level because you cannot just wake up asking for the people to vote for you. It is a process,” she said.

The conference, which drew participants from the 10 provinces, government departments and several women’s organisations, was held under the theme: “Broadening Women’s Participation, Time for Women- Time for Africa”



  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 11 years ago


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    Chitova weGona 11 years ago

    Can independent media pliz keep Makarau out of their papers?Seeing her name is nauseating to say the least!

  • comment-avatar 11 years ago

    If women leaders are capable of destroying the hopes of the nation like what ZEC leadership has demonstrated, then their as ascendancy spells doom for everyone.

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    Patriot 11 years ago

    The genda issue requires thorough debate at appropriate intellectual level & fora. Society is not divisible only along genda lines. Its also divisible between the tall and the short, the less exploitable literates and the highly vulnerable and exploitable illiterates of society, OR last but not least possibility, tribal or regional division. It thus becomes a bit unsettling to notice sectarian sensitivity in VERY HIGH offices associated with neutrality. I believe the nation needs best calibre of paliamentary representa tion ahead of particular sectarian representation.

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    Patriot 11 years ago

    From statistical point of view the youths are probably the majority sector of our society followed by the women folk society and lastly the rest of the males sector of society. It is needless to seek parli mentary representation expressing the above reality, but glossing over realities of national tribal and regional sensitivities. The ambitious grooming of national sectarian inclinations is both needless and undemocratic.

  • comment-avatar
    Men take House of Assembly: ZEC ← Zimbabwe Democracy Institute 11 years ago

    […] Posted on September 4, 2013 by ZimSitRep_J […]

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    Pafunge 11 years ago

    Rita makarau as chairperson of zec and her deput Kazembe have demonstrated exactly why women must never be given responsible officies but must remain in the kitchen notwithstanding their learnedness judging by their perfomance as zec chief officers. The women who invited them to speak at that conferance have endosed my point.