STAFF WRITER 28 September 2018
HARARE – Zimbabwe needs to take issues of sexual harassment seriously and
ensure the practice is confined to the dustbins of history.
The issue was brought back into spotlight by the Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) which wants President Emmerson Mnangagwa to withdraw
the appointment of new Registrar-General Clemence Masango.
ZCTU claims that Masango is facing allegations of sexual harassment and
corruption from the time he was still working for the Department of
In his defence, Masango has denied the allegations claiming that they were
brought about by disgruntled sacked workers, who have an axe to grind with
Masango finds himself in a similar position as that of United States
President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
The confirmation process for Kavanaugh has been thrown into doubt after a
number of women came forward alleging he sexually assaulted them during
his teenage years.
This saga has taken centre stage in the US as it is receiving a lot of
media coverage which has helped more women, who claim to be Kavanaugh’s
victims to step forward.
Most of these incidents occurred in the 1980s and all along, these women
had been suffering in silence.
It took the bravery of Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old psychology
professor, who became the first woman to make the claims against
The entire US is divided on the matter with Republicans steadfastly
defending Kavanaugh while the Democrats want his nomination to be dropped
Zimbabwe is generally a patriarchal society where men generally treat
women as sexual objects.
There are many cases of sexual assault and harassment which go unreported
as most women are either humiliated or are afraid to come out and report
It is high time women stand up for their rights and conjure up the courage
to speak out when they have fallen victim to sexual harassment.
Men must also stop their chauvinistic tendencies because in this day and
age, there is need to have consent before engaging in a sexual activity
with a woman.
Authorities at workplaces, schools and the police must also make sure they
have mechanisms that deal with the victims in a dignified manner.
Sexual harassment victims generally find it hard to come out in the open
and when they do try to open up, those responsible for taking up the
matter try to protect the perpetrators. The victims should always be given
first priority while the accused are given a fair chance to defend their