MPs haggle over ‘mahure’ slur

Source: MPs haggle over ‘mahure’ slur – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 22, 2017

PARLIAMENT business nearly came to a standstill yesterday as legislators haggled over a “mahure” (prostitutes) slur used by Shamva South Member of Parliament, Joseph Mapiki (Zanu PF) in reference to sex workers, fuelling a heated debate with female legislators, who argued the remark was derogatory.


Mapiki uttered the “un-parliamentary” word when Epworth MP Zalerah Makari (Zanu PF) asked Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni to explain if the government had legislation to prevent sex workers from being abused by the police.

“If there is such a law, is it publicised?” Makari asked, as Mapiki shouted “mahure”.

This prompted Goromonzi West lawmaker, Biata Nyamupinga (Zanu PF) to raise a point of order demanding Mapiki to withdraw the word, but the Shamva legislator dug in, saying he had simply translated the term “sex workers” into the Shona language.

“Why must I withdraw when that is what the word means in Shona?” Mapiki responded.

After trading barbs for over 15 minutes, Mapiki withdrew the word following a directive from acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Melody Dziva.

Before the dust settled, Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent) raised another point of order, claiming that Dziva had deprived Mapiki of exercising his constitutional right to use a Shona word, yet the language is one of the 16 official languages recognised by the Constitution.

Mguni then took to the floor and told the House that there was no specific law to protect sex workers from being harassed by the police.

“Police need to be professional and handle such people lawfully,” he said.