Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Women, youth take back seat on Mwenezi East elections

 

Cephas Shava

Vying
for elected political posts, be it in the local authority or for the
legislature, has become somewhat ‘sacred’ for Mwenezi East’s dejected youths
and women who have seemingly ‘accepted’ to be back seaters and mere stairs for
propping up men into top political posts.

Mwenezi
East constituency, which last had a female councilor during the 2008 elections,
has since then seen the political field being a preserve for men with youths
also reluctant to break grounds in eyeing top elected political offices.

With
both Zanu PF and the MDC Alliance having opened the race for party primaries to
replace the late legislator Joosbi Omar, women and youth have once again failed
to rise to the occasion on the prospective candidates.

The MDC
Alliance has three male aspiring candidates who include, Tineyi Mapepa,
Tendekai Mandizvidza and Alfred Chihwakwa.

Zanu PF
has about ten male candidates for their primary elections slated for May 4 with
no youth and women in the pot.

Zanu PF
list of primary contestants include Master Makope, Simbarashe Mpofu-Mabhena,
Takura Mudavose, Jabulani Mberesi, Marvelous Chifumuro, Hassim Hoosen and
Tinashe Nyoni among others.

Mwenezi
District Zanu PF secretary for youth affairs Passmore Madzudzu acknowledged the
reluctance of youths to eye for top political post saying more still needs to
be done to encourage their participation.

“I
am yet to be officially informed of any party youth who is aspiring to join the
Mwenezi East race.

“As a
party, we are going to spearhead programmes that will encourage youth to fully
eye positions in the local authority and in the legislature. I am very sure that
by the time the 2023 elections are held more youths will be geared to grab such
posts,” said Madzudzu.

MDC
Alliance Masvingo provincial youth spokesperson Timothy Muswere told TellZim
News that youths were not only reluctant to eye top political post but they had
completely lost hope in the voting process.

He said
since women and youths constitute the majority of the voting population, they
need to forge an alliance such that when elections come they would be fully
supported to compete in the political arena.

“The
youth and women are not fully supported to take up the political space. They
are largely used by man as stairs to the top.

“The
youth have completely lost hope and trust in the electoral processes. We need
to make a paradigm shift and make sure that the youth and women are never left
behind.

“By
2023 we should have made progress and we hope to see more youth and women
rising to the occasion,” said Muswere.

Several
youths who spoke to TellZim News pointed out that, after realising that
elections were predetermined events, they do not see the need to waste their
time taking part in processes that will end with them being used as political
pawns.

Shumirai
Tshuma who is the MDC Alliance’s Mwenezi East chairlady attributed women’s
reluctance to participate in top political positions to fear of violence.

She
said if women are given a level playing field with man, they would be more than
willing to stand up and challenge for political positions.

“There
is a lot of violence associated with elections and sometimes women do not have
the bone for it.

“This
is the reason why we have more man than women taking up positions and women are
just there to support man,” said Tshuma.

Zanu PF
Mwenezi district secretary for women affairs Viola Maregedze said women lack
education to join the political race.

“Here
in Mwenezi most women have limited education. Besides lacking self-confidence
to lead, they also assume that they cannot afford to be councilors or
legislators given their limited education.

“As for
youths, most of them here are school dropouts who usually prioritised crossing
to neighboring South Africa to seek employment before finishing school.

“There
is need to initiate programmes that instill confidence among both women and
youths so that they exude confidence and understand that regardless of one’s
level of education anyone can occupy top political office and execute expected
duties with diligence,” said Maregere.

The
proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill Number II which is now awaits its second
Senate reading proposes the extension of the women’s quota to 2023 and also has
a provision of the youth quota at both national assembly and local authority
levels.

TellZimNewshttps://tellzim.com
TellZim News is the leading news organization in the Southern region. It provides candid, balanced and timely news from the communities. Keeping it real. Committed to tell Zimbabwe.

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