BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
WOMEN Affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni last week revealed that her ministry through the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) investigated Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader Walther Magaya (pictured) and several companies over allegations of sexual abuse of females.
Nyoni said this last week in the National Assembly while tabling ZGC annual reports for the years 2017 to 2019.
“Investigation of possible violations of rights relating to gender equality is one of the major mandates of the commission, which in 2019 managed to investigate a number of such cases including the Department of Immigration, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Interpol Zimbabwe, Casadella Biscuits Limited, Masvingo City Council, Walter Magaya of PHD Ministries and Tobacco Industry Marketing Board,” Nyoni said. She did not give details of the investigations.
She also said the ZGC received and dealt with complains of violations of rights that relate to gender-based discrimination.
“It received and dealt with complaints of potential violation to rights relating to gender which varied from gender-based discrimination and gender-based violations, including sexual harassment, one of them includes the Mvuthu chieftainship dispute in Hwange which is still ongoing.”
Nyoni said the commission managed to offer assistance to people through mobile clinics and held community outreaches, adding that one of the major achievements of the gender commission was to submit draft principles to the ministry for development of the Gender Equality Bill and the Anti-sexual Harassment Bill.
“The commission also managed to monitor and engage intensive consultative process on quotas for equality through provisional dialogue, national workshops and a Sadc mission to learn regional best practices on integrating gender in elections.”
Nyoni said the Constitution mandated the ZGC to monitor issues concerning gender equality and to ensure gender equality as provided for in the Constitution.
She urged the commission to investigate possible violations of rights relating to gender equality, receive and consider complaints from the public and to take such action in regard to the complaints as it considers appropriate.
Nyoni recommended the development of a national strategy to deal with issues of culture, religion, social norms and all deeply held patriarchal values in our society.