Firebrand Bulawayo East legislator, Tabitha Khumalo, breathed fire threatening to drag Government of Zimbabwe to the Constitutional Court for failing to realign laws four years after the adoption of the new constitution in 2013.
Government has a task to complete aligning of 400 existing laws with the constitution that was adopted and signed into law in March 2013, however, four years on, government has adopted a snail pace in the alignment of laws.
“Coming to alignment of the laws we have to the current constitution the government is supposed (to align laws). By now we should have aligned all those laws with the constitution, but for some unknown reason it’s not working.
“As women collectively we have a right to take the Government of Zimbabwe to the Constitutional Court demanding implementation of our rights that are enshrined in the constitution,” said Khumalo.
She added: ” I should not bag them to implement, they have to implement because they promised. That is what they were going to give us as women. This time we are holding the bull by its horns.”
Khumalo, who has never shied away from speaking her mind was speaking on ZiFM stereo, a local radio station, to mark the celebrations of the International Women’s Day.
The International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. This year’s campaign theme is #BeBoldForChange.
The one hour long radio programme was sponsored by the Election Resource Centre (ERC), a think tank and advocacy institution in elections and democracy, which is creating platforms of engagement between citizens (particularly women and youth) and solution holders on accountable governance at all levels.
Khumalo said every law about women in Zimbabwe is “brilliant (but) the saddest part is the implementation. That’s where we are losing it as women,” she said adding that time is now to demand the implementation.
Maureen Kademaunga, a Human Rights activist and the Coordinator of #SheVotes, said government has been very complacent especially during elections to deal with violence and women suffer the most.
“The police for me are being very complacent in terms of arresting violence during elections. People must be allowed to promote different ideas regardless of where they are coming from,” Kademaunga said.
Kademaunga said there is need to start building a culture of tolerance adding that they are going to “name and shame those that are perpetrating violence and those that are failing to act on violence.”
Biata Nyamupinga, Goromonzi West Member of Parliament, who is also the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Gender, concurred with Khumalo adding that nothing changes the gender equation “more significantly than women’s economic freedom.”
Nyamupinga urged women to speak with one voice so that gender-based violence is reduced in society.
The ERC, whose vision is to see credible and transparent electoral processes at all tiers in Zimbabwe, took the opportunity to celebrate women who are involved in elections and democracy and highlight the often ignored issue of election related violence and intimidation affecting their effective participation in Zimbabwe’s electoral processes.
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