MDC-T proportional representation MP Dr Ruth Labode says top female politicians have turned so vindictive against rivals to a point of picking less-schooled colleagues to contest elections on party tickets.
The method behind the mischief by the senior politicians is an attempt to limit the number of eventual competitors for prospective cabinet posts.
Labode was contributing to a recent discussion on the Electoral Amendment Bill at a meeting that was organised by the poll-based NGO, the Election Resource Centre.
During the discussion, Matebeleland South proportional representation MP, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, challenged female politicians who form the electoral directorate in their respective parties to champion the upliftment of fellow women when it comes to the selection of candidates to represent their parties in elections.
Men have usually been the ones singled out for blame on the continued failure by women to rise to positions of influence in both the legislature and government.
But Labode, a medical doctor, was quick to say the culprits were in fact women who have pulled all the stops to torpedo the rise of colleagues, fearing they would later become competitors when it came to cabinet appointments.
“We are already talking to each other as women parliamentarians from different parties,” she said.
“What is coming out from a lot of parties actually…women feel other women are very vindictive; they are actually suppressing other women’s candidate selection because they don’t want to be too many up there because when it comes to cabinet selection there would be a challenge on which women can be taken.”
Labode continued: “Sometimes as women, we are our own enemies.
We need to introspect first because you can put a policy there for as long as you have a hate spirit, how will you stand for me in the election directorate.
“You will simply remove me in place of a woman who went up to Grade One as you already feel threatened by my Masters (degree).”
While Labode did not attempt to drop any names to explain her point, a tussle for electoral party slots pitying senior politicians and junior party members has been raging especially within the country’s two main parties.
In 2014, then First Lady Grace Mugabe went to the extent of acquiring a PhD fraudulently in what was thought to be an attempt to be at par with then Vice President Joice Mujuru, who had been reading for the top academic honour.
As Zanu PF party number two, Mujuru was well positioned to take over as Zanu PF leader at the expense of Grace, who later mounted a spirited bid to succeed her aged husband.