MDC proportional representation legislator Priscilla Musiharabwi-Mushonga has said the Women and Youth Committee in Parliament will host a memorial service for the late South African politician, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (pictured), whom she said was a role model in politics and civil society through her unwavering fight for human rights in Africa.
BY LINDA CHINOBVA
Madikizela-Mandela (81), who was known as “Mother of the Nation” in South Africa, died after a long illness, which had seen her in and out of hospital since the beginning of the year.
In an interview, Musiharabwi-Mushonga said the Women and Youth Committee in Parliament, together with the Women’s Coalition, were in the process of preparing a memorial service for the late Madikizela-Mandela, who was affectionately known just as Winnie.
“We are in the process of organising a memorial service for our icon Winnie Mandela here in Zimbabwe, it is undisputable that she deserves it,” she said.
“There is no way we can just forget about Winnie because she is an icon to many female politicians and feminists in Africa and it is for that reason that we should do something for her and recognise her efforts.”
“Just like her husband, Nelson Mandela was given international recognition, Winnie deserves recognition from all us as women because she fought a good fight as a female politician in South Africa, outside her marriage life.”
“As it is, we are in the process of sorting out the logistics and the venue for the memorial service, but I can safely say it will be held after her burial service.” Musiharabwi-Mushonga said African National Congress (ANC) female delegates will be invited for the memorial.
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“It’s only fair to invite ANC female delegates to the memorial so that they give us first-hand information about Winnie considering that they worked with her directly,” she said.
“The memorial service is open to all other female politicians in Africa and beyond because Winnie was an icon to many.”
The Women and Youth Committee is negotiating for resources from Parliament so that some women parliamentarians can attend Madikizela-Mandela’s burial service set for April 14.
“We are currently engaging Parliament to release resources to female leaders in Parliament, to attend the burial service in South Africa,” she said.
“We hope our requests will be granted because she is our mother, she is our icon and we have to send her off.”