President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged women to prioritize their competence in positions they wish to occupy saying his administration is facing difficulties in adopting a gender balanced cabinet due to poor representation pf women in parliament.
Mnangagwa was speaking at a women’s breakfast meeting organized by Professional Women, Women Executives and Business Women’s Forum (PROWEB), held at a local hotel today.
He said poor representation of women in Parliament makes it difficult for him to adopt a gender balanced cabinet.
“Gender equality in cabinet is not an event but a process. Members of cabinet must come from Parliament and so it is necessary that you fill women with capacity in parliament for them to be Ministers,” he said.
Addressing the issue on tender bidding and allocation, where women have been complaining over masculine dominance, Mnangagwa said merit was the cardinal principle followed urging them to set up professional companies able to provide state the art service.
“We have to balance between merit and deliberate empowerment of sections of our community like women. As long as you (women) have professional companies able to provide state of the art, top rank service, we would definitely favor domestic women owned companies.
“But, it will not be proper for us to grant a tender to build a bridge to a company owned by somebody who has never seen one or in terms of profile given to us does not show anything of engineering expertise in the company,” said Mnangagwa
He added that, once worthy women owned companies start coming forward, government consider them as part of its women empowerment program.
“So, organize yourselves in your bidding and show you know what you are doing. Yes, the question of experience and track record, that we put aside because we want to empower you. We cannot look for a track record when in the past opportunities were not there for you.