Outcry as gun-toting cops raid kitchen tea party

Home Affairs deputy minister Obendingwa Mguni

Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni was yesterday grilled in the National Assembly over an incident in Siganda, Tsholotsho, where police officers allegedly pounced on women at a kitchen tea party brandishing guns and teargassed them.

Lwazi Sibanda (MDC-T Proportional Representation) had asked Mguni to explain if it was government policy to bar kitchen tea parties.

“Section 219 of the Constitution says the police must detect and prevent crime, preserve security, protect lives and property, maintain law and order and call into order wherever there is disorder, and so, we will use the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) in any gathering with more than five people, depending on the type of gathering,” he responded. “I have never received any reports concerning a kitchen tea meeting, but if there was noise at that party, then the police will arrest.”

Leader of the opposition in the House Thokozani Khupe then asked Mguni to explain if private meetings held at homesteads were now illegal.

“There was no noise at the kitchen tea party, but the police decided to bring teargas and guns,” she said.

Sibanda further asked Mguni to explain how Posa was applied on private gatherings like kitchen tea parties.

“If people at that gathering exchanged wrong words and disturbed other people, then they have a right to report the issue,” he said.

In an unrelated question, Khupe asked Women Affairs minister Nyasha Chikwinya to explain what her ministry was doing to ensure girls have free sanitary wear so that they attend school, and also programmes in her ministry to disseminate information on cancer.

Chikwinya said they had contracted two companies that had volunteered to provide sanitary towels for girls.

However, she said one of the companies would provide them for free while the other said they would charge 50 cents instead of a dollar for a packet.

But Norton MP Temba Mliswa (independent) retorted: “Condoms are available for free, but sanitary wear is not free. Condom money is always there and so why is there no money for sanitary wear? Menstruation is nature and these things of free sanitary wear cannot be delayed.”


  1. We need to do away with this let’s have things for free mentality. somebody incurs costs manufacturing those pads or towels and only does so to make a profit. If they have to give away free they may as we’ll quit the business and then that starts to affect all women even those that don’t expect freebies. Otherwise I’ll ask what freebie can we give the boys. They too are susceptible to wet dreams and that too is part of nature nxa-a.

    • From a pro-poor perspective, its a reality our girls from marginalized communities cannot afford sanitary wear, and its government social responsibility to supply these for free to such deprived girls and women. Menstruation is mother nature and should not deprive girls from attending school and daily routines. Traditional methods of menstrual hygiene from way back are now found to cause health issues such as cervical cancer, and we need to have girls and women protected, not that its for the sake of getting things for free. Just cutting on a government entourage to an overseas trip can provide a years supply of sanitary wear to such wh cannot afford, which government should meet costs and source at a fair price. Lets feel for the marginalized and poor, its a reality they exist and need protection by government, you and me. Condoms are given for free, didn’t hear anyone complain, do boys need sanitary wear during masturbation?

  2. This is really poor reporting. Why didn’t you get more details of the Kitchen Tea Party and an explanation from the Station Commander as to why armed Police felt it necessary to attack defenseless women enjoying themselves and who reported them and why.

  3. But is it the trend in other countries that they are given freely. Instead of getting them for free l would edge our parliementarians to advocate for openning of industries so that we can reduce unemployment in the country. Stablisation of the economy l am sure as parents we will be able to afford to buy those pads for our girl children. Instead of crying for hand-outs from this ever broke gvt.

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