MDC fights for gender parity

HARARE - Nelson Chamisa’s MDC is strengthening measures to enforce gender parity in the party’s leadership rings, as evidenced recently in Victoria Falls where the elected mayor stepped down to pave way for a female contestant.

Chamisa ordered Victoria Falls mayor Somvelo Dlamini to step down and make way for Margaret Varley, whose nomination had been rejected by both councillors and residents.

Dlamini, who had won 8 votes against Varley’s 3, was then made the deputy mayor of the resort town.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Chamisa confirmed he ordered Dlamini to step down but referred all questions to his spokesperson Nkululeko Sibanda.

Sibanda said the party is on an affirmative action drive and what happened in Victoria Falls is directed towards fulfilling this agenda.

“Yes, what happened in Victoria Falls is true. It is the party’s tradition. The mayors are selected by the whip guided by the president, to ensure that the promises made during the elections are fulfilled,” he said.

“We are taking very strong measures to ensure that we achieve gender equality. We want to ensure that our appointments support affirmative action.”

Sibanda said society continues to perpetuate the idea that women should take the back row in leadership and that has been a major problem.

“Society is still very inequitable. We find that when we go for primary elections, people tend to vote for the male candidate instead of female candidates who will be available. At the moment, our party has 39 percent female representation in both lower and upper houses,” he said.

“President Chamisa has insisted that we have a female mayor in Victoria Falls and Kwekwe, not only because they are the only women available but because they have the capacity to deliver.”

Recently, Chamisa has been under fire for his denigrating remarks on women.

Chamisa caused an outcry when he made seemingly reckless comments after the appointment of Kirsty Coventry as Sports, Youth and Culture minister.

He has also been viewed as gender insensitive, following his appointment of a bloated male-dominated presidium with Elias Mudzuri, Welshman Ncube and Morgen Komichi as his three deputies.

Women generally failed to cover much ground in the July elections, attaining only 26 of the 210 parliamentary seats.

A gender analysis carried out by Harare Residents Trust indicated that out of 86 women who contested in the 46 wards in Harare, only 12 succeeded.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.