Mzembi in Parly sexism storm

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OPPOSITION legislators in the National Assembly on Tuesday quizzed Tourism minister Walter Mzembi over the Harare International Carnival, saying he should explain how much the event fetched, given some females were paraded naked.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Spiwe Muchenje (MDC-T Proportional Representation) demanded Mzembi further explain if men would also be paraded naked during the next carnival, as the impression was that women were the only ones who had to go through that.

“The carnival was not a fundraising event. It was done to ensure Zimbabweans have fun,” he said.

“It is social cohesion and those enterprising were able to make money through sale of airtime and other wares.”

But Mufakose MP, Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T) pressed Mzembi to answer whether men would also be paraded naked at future carnivals.

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“I never ordered anyone to walk naked during the carnival and I did not see any naked person. What I saw were people in body suits. Countries that parade men in body suits are those that probably engage in homosexuality, but we are not a country that supports that,” he said.

Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) said Mzembi was making very sexist statements by saying men could not be paraded in body suits because they were not homosexuals.

“Does he then imply that the nakedness of the women paraded was meant to appease men?”

Harare Central MP Murisi Zwizwai (MDC-T) then demanded Mzembi explain whether the women paraded in body suits were lesbians, adding he should withdraw the statement that men that parade in body suits are homosexuals.

Mzembi refused to withdraw the statement and the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mabel Chinomona ruled that he had no reason to withdraw.

Meanwhile, Mzembi assured the House that there was not going to be an accommodation and food shortage during the upcoming International Conference on HIV/Aids and STIs in Africa (Icasa) conference.

He urged Zimbabweans with suitable houses, to take the chance and make money through accommodating some delegates during the conference.