Calls for men’s caucus in Parliament intensify


A men’s lobby group, Varume Svinurai/Vhukani Madoda, has called on Parliament to consider introducing a men’s caucus to promote debate on issues affecting them.

National chairman of the group, Fred Misi, told NewsDay it was imperative to have a men’s caucus in Parliament since there was already a women’s caucus.

“Such a platform would help legislators understand laws that deal with gender relations because we have been lobbying MPs and we noticed most of them did not understand laws such as the Domestic Violence Act,” said Misi.

Misi said the men’s caucus would benefit MPs as lobby groups would be able to help them understand and discuss issues affecting men.

Temba Nzounhenda, the national organising secretary for Varume Svinurai, said the establishment of the men’s caucus would open up avenues for collaboration between women and men so that MPs would speak with one voice in order to encompass views of both sexes.

But, MDC-T chief whip in the House of Assembly Innocent Gonese said: “I am not quite sure about the mischief they want to address because the women’s caucus came about because of marginalisation of women and to enable women to participate in decision-making processes. Generally men are not in a disadvantaged position and it would be critical to understand their motivation.”

Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo welcomed the idea and said if male MPs were to have such a forum, they would be able to discuss issues that affected their male counterparts.

“Women cannot be their own soldiers, so men should complement their efforts by having their own caucus. This helps because men will also discuss where they marginalise women and eventually we have a common understanding,” said Gumbo.

MDC chief whip Edward Mkhosi was not available for comment by the time of going to print.