By Shingirai Vambe
Men and women braved the cold weather, travelling complications and other challenges that people are currently facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic to attend the public hearing of the Constitution Amendment No.2 Bill at Vengere in Rusape.
Seeing the commitment exhibited by the multitude at 602 Hall in Vengere, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga told Post On Sunday that she felt humbled by turnout as legislators have largely let down the citizens.
“Since the commencement of the public hearings, I have seen quite an impressive turnout, regardless of the challenges that people are facing.
“They are bold and confident to speak out and that courage that they got it’s for us as MPs to full represent our people so that they can see the positive results from this hearing”
The people of Rusape (Makoni District) proved that they were fully geared up to add their voices to the proposed constitutional amendments.
Various organisations that included Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) helped make the hearings a success with its members speaking highly on the need for 50/50 representation in Parliament as well as the long overdue youth quota.
Some of the women who got the opportunity to present their views on the Bill, highlighted the challenges being faced by women due to lack of adequate representation especially in Parliament and other bodies where decisions and polices are made, arguing that rural women are the most affected by the situation.
In an interview, one of the women Dorcas Mukombiwa from Ward 16 in Makoni West said “The government and Parliament have neglected us in the rural areas, we lack enough representation and our voices are not heard and we thank organisations like WCoZ who have come to our rescue.
“We have people living with disabilities and they need support, they also need to be well represented in Parliament and only a person living under the same conditions can and will understand how it is to live with disability” she said.
Speaking on the same issues, Janie Mahachi from Women and Law for Southern Africa said “We are disadvantaged, but we give thanks to development partners and none governmental organisations who have been there for us since we last saw our Member of Parliament soon after voting for him and we have never seen him since and we think its better representation from ward level,” she said.
Mahachi added that she is currently facing challenges during this Covid-19 period, “it’s unfortunate that our representation as people living with disability, I haven’t seen anyone who approached me to hear me out, or assist in any way, we only hear on radio and television and it ends there.
“As a woman, and a mother it is very sad to note that Parliament does not take us serious, not only on representation but also on these public hearings, it seems like its more of a formality of a finished product or program” she said.
Women also made a clarion call that such leading ministries as Finance, Justice and even local government should be given to women as they have a better understanding of welfare issues and budgets of their families.
The Bill is seeking among other things to reverse the Running mates Clause, give the President powers to appoint judges without public interviews, power to appoint prosecutor general among many other issues.
The majority of people who participated in Makoni West are against the idea of giving the President powers to make decisions without the involvement of Parliament.
Meanwhile, Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo is being investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). This was confirmed by the commission’s Chairperson, Justice Matanda Moyo