MDC Alliance female MPs complain over sexual harassment

MDC Alliance female legislators have complained before the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda over sexual harassment in the House by Zanu PF legislators Tafanana Zhou (Mberengwa North) and John Paradza (Gutu West).

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Manicaland proportional representation MP, Lynette Karenyi, on Thursday raised a point of order as the leader of the MDC Alliance women’s assembly, complaining about the verbal abuse that she and another female MP Joanna Mamombe (Harare West) had been subjected to.

“I represent women out there and my presence here is encouraging other women to stand up and fight for our space, but I have realised that if I do not say this out, most of the women can’t stand up and speak,” Karenyi said.

“I have received reports from my fellow colleagues that they are also experiencing sexual harassment, and I strongly feel that there is a difference between heckling and sexual harassment, and I decided to stand up and say it out to encourage other women to stand and speak.”

She said gestures and utterances by Zhou and Paradza — who allegedly commented on female MPs’ body features — were tantamount to sexual harassment.

“As female MPs, we take such moves as disrespectful, because we are not sex objects, but we are legislators and we deserve respect,” Karenyi said.

When Karenyi was contributing to debate in the National Assembly last week, Zhou and Paradza, who usually sit far in the back benches, heckled Karenyi and labelled her a fourth wife.

On the other hand, whenever Mamombe posed questions to ministers, the same male legislators called her a prostitute.

“Our male counterparts should treat us with respect, because we are mothers and MPs. We should feel free to stand up and debate without being given or being labelled, as we are not wives of such MPs,” Karenyi said.

“This sexual harassment continues every day when we step inside this Parliament. Mamombe and I are the recipients of this sexual harassment from these two male MPs, and this must stop.”

She said the male MPs’ behaviour was not only a violation of women’s constitutional rights, but was also un-parliamentary.

“Since Parliament has the duty to represent women, we want respect, and it is our constitutional right to be here as MPs,” Karenyi said.

Mudenda said such occurrences should be reported to the police, adding that he would verify the matter and act.

6 Comments

  1. Ambuya nyararai apo Chamisa and mdc waituka khupe na majome kuti mahure you were silent asi kuti ndewe Zanu motimhoswa tangai magadzirisana kwenyu musatinyaudza

    1. duzviri…do you know what parliament is? where did Chamisa say that to Khupe?

      1. Have you ever noticed that any MDC-A supporter response in comments always has insults, some of them very, very vulgar. I have seen so many comments from MDC supporters – even on YouTube and other social media – it is sad to see that all these are always derogatory.
        Is it truly possible for MDC supporters to express themselves in a dignified manner as they leave their comments. I guess it is too much to ask considering how their president is always insulting the President at every opportunity, then takes offense the only one time that his insults are responded to. At least the Zanoids are a more dignified lot when it comes to their comments. It just hints at their level of maturity

  2. This is unacceptable MPs must behave the respectful way.

  3. Maphozho Saruchera

    Wait a minute, just wait! So, in other words you are saying it was not ok to call Khupe H@#e.

  4. Prosperity mzila

    Chete you MPs from the MDC Aliance makafumuka, start acting like ladies and you will be respected as such, yo attitude of jumping up n down semakudo has earned U disrespect. Pull yourselves together n present yourselves in a resoectable manner U will be respected, siyanai neku actor sema primary school children very busy abt trivial matter. Grow up woman,

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