Paidamoyo Chipunza Senior Reporter
The Zanu-PF Women’s League want the constitutional quota system provision to be extended to increase the participation of more women in politics.
Led by the League’s Secretary for Administration, Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, the women also said they wanted those serving under the proportional representation to serve for not more than two terms.
The women said this will allow more women to participate in politics while those who had completed their two-terms would proceed to run with the rest of the other candidates through the normal parliamentary election process.
The recommendations were endorsed yesterday during the Womens’ League’s Second National Assembly meeting that took place in Harare.
The Women’s League also wants the Women’s Bank to relax loan terms to allow all women, including those in the rural areas, to also benefit.
Secretary for Women’s Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona and provincial chairpersons also took turns to present a number of challenges women are facing in accessing some Government programmes that include mining claims, land, agricultural inputs, food and loans.
All provincial chairpersons also endorsed President Mnangagwa as the Zanu-PF candidate for the 2023 Presidential elections.
Responding to the recommendations, President Mnangagwa — who was the guest of honour at the meeting — said he had taken note of the women’s concerns.
However, he said the issues would be discussed at the 18th Annual National People’s Conference scheduled for next week in Goromonzi.
In relation to the various challenges chronicled by the women, President Mnangagwa said Government had several programmes including the importation of food, availing of affordable transport and introduction of targeted subsidies for maize.
He said Government had also committed to avail 1 000 buses, but was now working with a figure of 1 500 following another commitment of 1 000 more buses from China.
The other 500 are from Belarus and South Africa.
President Mnangagwa said Government will continue to capitalise the Women’s Bank to ensure that all women had access to loans.
He commended the Women’s League for remaining resolute in support of the party during this period of economic transition, adding that Government was committed to improving the livelihoods of citizens.
“As is reflected in the 2020 National Budget Statement and highlighted in the presentations made earlier by Government officials, we shall be scaling up programmes which promote productivity, entrepreneurship development and job creation, especially among women and the youth,” said President Mnangagwa.
He challenged the League to scale up the number of activities and variety of high impact economic activities for women, especially those at the grassroots level.
President Mnangagwa further encouraged the League’s leadership to constantly visit various provinces for political meetings to keep all women abreast of developments and available opportunities.
“The people should always come first in all we do. We are a people’s party, a listening party and a party which serves the people wholeheartedly through servant leaders. Let us never lose this rich tradition and character of our party,” said President Mnangagwa.
He further called upon all party members to remain loyal, honest, steadfast and vigilant of the enemy’s machinations against the party and Government.
“You are the eyes of the party, it is your duty to guard it against infiltrations, divisions and disunity,” he said.
Turning to the ongoing doctors’ strike, the President said Government was doing all it can to respond to their concerns but some of them appear to be motivated by external forces.
President Mnangagwa donated small grain seeds to the women.
Earlier on, President Mnangagwa toured and officially opened the Women’s League’s refurbished canteen, housed at the Zanu-PF head-quarters.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando; Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri; and Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo, who were in attendance, took turns to respond to some of the specific concerns expressed by the women.