BY VENERANDA LANGA
FORMER Mozambican First Lady GraÇa Machel yesterday urged Zimbabwean women to stand firmly together and fight the system in Zimbabwe which has been instilling fear in the citizenry, saying there is need for regime transformation in the country.
Machel said this in Harare while addressing a Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) Women’s National Luncheon and dialogue platform conference to discuss issues affecting women in the country, as well as identify issues stalling national dialogue.
She was the guest of honour together with former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, at the ZCC event which was also attended by female MPs from the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Women’s Caucus, churches, different civic society organisations, politicians and women from business.
Various women narrated their very painful experiences in the country to Machel and Robinson who, in response, said they were almost in tears as they listened to issues of poverty, abductions, unemployment, discrimination and several economic and political issues affecting women in the country.
“As sisters, you need to interact and question the system, and you need to be clear of what it is in the system which you want changed,” Machel said.
“There is fear of regime change, but what we are talking about today is not regime change, it is regime transformation and women must have courage to say what it is they want transformed. Women need to be the ones to lead.
“I was here in August 1980 with the late Mozambican President Samora Machel, and I remember very well how this country was vibrant and so full of energy.”
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She added: “It is still in Zimbabwean women to go back and recapture this, but you have to be a united people who can dream. If it is someone who has taken that dream away from you, then they have no right to do so. Use your power as Zimbabweans to say this nation belongs to you as women and you claim it.”
Robinson said Zimbabwe has a progressive Constitution, especially pertaining to women’s rights, but there was need for the alignment of laws for citizens to fully enjoy their rights.
MDC-T president Thokozani Khupe said the main problem in Zimbabwe was the endless electioneering mode.