‘Recalls will derail 50/50 gender parity’

FORMER MDC Alliance legislator Dorcas Sibanda, who was recalled last Friday by the MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe, said the recall from Parliament of proportional representation lawmakers had shown that women could be worse than men.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

Sibanda said she had crossed over to the MDC-T in order to protect herself from being recalled, but was shocked to find herself on the recall list.

She said the recalls were “insensitive and will derail the attainment of the 50/50 gender representation”, which is stipulated in the Constitution.

On Thursday, Khupe recalled 10 more MDC Alliance legislators from the National Assembly, bringing the number of recalls to 32 since the March 30 Supreme Court ruling which confirmed her as the interim leader of the MDC-T.

All the MPs recalled contested under the MDC Alliance banner in the 2018 general elections where Khupe contested in the presidential race against President Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zanu PF) and Nelson Chamisa (MDC Alliance) and came a distant third.

“I am not going to give up because of the recall, and would like to say that women must not give up because if we do, we will never achieve the 50/50 gender representation stipulated in the Constitution,” Sibanda said.

“Several women from the MDC Alliance that occupied PR seats were recalled — and so this only shows that if some women are in power, they can be ruthless and do not forgive, they have no mercy on other females and can be worse than men.”

She added: “If you start killing other women’s careers, you are not a politician, but can be equated to a vampire.

“I say this because there are some PR MPs that were recalled that are not coping and one of the female MPs is now mentally challenged and sick after the recall. I am coping and will never give up on politics, that is why I say other females must not give up.”

Sibanda said even after crossing over to the MDC-T to protect her PR seat, Khupe still axed her.

“I had crossed over to the MDC T so that I could not be recalled, but that did not even protect me from Khupe recalling me, which shows that crossing over does not guarantee that one’s seat is safe. It is just greed so that she (Khupe) can occupy my seat.”

She said since mostly PR seats occupied by females were targeted -and some of them would be replaced by males, it was women that would lose out.

“I was one of the female MPs that worked hard championing women issues and gender sensitive budgeting. What kind of president removes several people from Parliament, especially PR women?” she queried.

After the recall of MDC Alliance MPs, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga through a statutory instrument suspended the holding of by-elections that were scheduled for December 5 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission immediately endorsed nominees submitted by Khupe as MPs.

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