Legislators must be elected on merit

EDITOR — In one of the articles that appeared in the press last week, women parliamentarians were demanding that the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act include clauses that create constituencies that are exclusively for women so that it becomes compulsory that at least 50 percent parliamentarians are women.

Why is it that these women want seats on a silver platter?

Is this not the age of equality?

Is it not meritocracy as opposed to sexism that drives development?

I remember women parliamentarians that were elected on proportional representation complaining that their counterparts elected to Parliament derogatively call them Baccosi, I do not think progressive women like to be classified like that.

Women should get seats because the electorate believes they can deliver even better than their male counterparts.

It’s all about meritocracy and the electorate are the judges.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment created the additional seats for women members elected under the party list system of proportional representation based on the votes cast for candidates representing political parties in a general election for constituency members in the province.

This constitutional provision was meant to allow women “to grow” that at least by the end of the 10 years from the effective date they would have “matured” enough to compete with their male counterparts as equals on an equal footing.

The electorate will then be able to look at both men and women and select their representatives based on meritocracy and ability to represent them and deliver on their behalf.

The demand by women parliamentarians is against the spirit of equality between men and women.

It tries to circumvent the Constitution by smuggling the idea of “female only” constituencies into other statutes through the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act.

In my view, this is unconstitutional, biased, unfair and should be resisted by all progressive Zimbabweans.

If men and women are equal why this special treatment?

Let us not accept everything that “suggests” advancement of women hook, line and sinker.

Let’s be positive as opposed to be trying to be “correct” when approaching feminist issues.

Fred Isaac Misi

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