MDC members must think wisely about gender balance

© EDITOR — The MDC remains Zimbabweans’ main hope for dethroning the failed Zanu PF regime.  The party’s congresses up to provincial level in preparation for the party’s main congress are almost done, apart from the South African congress.

Some candidates have scored very high, getting nominated in majority provinces. Regardless of how many nominations the nominees for various positions that were on offer got, it is time for the MDC members to seriously scrutinise the candidates on offer, their personal strengths, and most importantly, the criticality of the constituents they represent.

The first factor to look at will be the presidency. Everything points at Nelson Chamisa being the president after congress — I would like to congratulate him in advance. The MDC has adopted the gender balance concept, and to be seen as being serious with its own policy, it is best that gender balance policy starts from the very top, the presidency. 

With Chamisa almost guaranteed, it is best that the party members look at the women who will be nominated if there are at least two who are vice-presidential material. Never mind if the party ends up with three female vice-presidents, as 51,32 percent of the electorate are women.

Additionally, we have Lilian Timveous who has amassed the highest number of votes among the women, Lynette Karenyi-Kore, Paurina Mupariwa and Tracy Mutinhiri.
 Tracy has been ruled out by some analysts on the basis that she is former Zanu PF, but given the fact that she was fired from Zanu PF for supporting the MDC, that on its own raises her profile as a committed woman. 

Not many people in Zanu PF openly support the opposition, and she chose to sacrifice all the opportunities that go with being a member of Zanu PF and stood with the struggling people of Zimbabwe when she could easily have shut her mouth about anything she admired about the opposition and save her job in Zanu PF and continued to pretend like many others do in Zanu PF, when inside they like the MDC but cannot say it publicly. 
Hats off to her for her bravery. She was a key figure in the 2018 election campaign, a fact that I have heard party president Chamisa publicly acknowledge. 

Those who accuse Tracy of Zanu PF links must consider why Chamisa trusted her with the international relations job in the party that she currently holds.

Another factor that works in favour of the MDC having her as a vice president is that she lives in a rural area. About 66 percent of Zimbabwean population lives rurally, and MDC should strengthen its rural support base, and having one of its top four leaders living in a rural area is a positive for the party.

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