LEGISLATOR and human rights activist Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has condemned Zanu PF’s candidate selection process as a sexist and intended to discourage women from seeking political leadership positions.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, a member of the opposition MDC party, claimed many female prospective candidates were being denied information regarding the ruling party’s primary elections.
According to the new Zanu PF selection guidelines, aspiring party election candidates must submit their CVs to the national electoral directorate for approval.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga dismissed the requirement was “nonsensical”.
“The whole nonsensical business of CVs is sexist because a CV by nature speaks to one’s qualifications and where she or he has worked before,” she said in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.
“So, this means if I have never worked before, and I have been a housewife I do not qualify to be in political leadership. This Zanu PF criteria of identifying leadership is sexist in nature.”
The legislator said all political parties were equally guilty of side-lining women from participating in elections by deliberately hiding crucial information from them.
“As it is, we are talking about primary elections that are taking place in political parties. A lot of women have no access to information such as how to apply to be a candidate.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga also criticised both the Zanu PF-led government and the opposition MDC Alliance for failing to have a woman in their respective top leadership positions.
“If you look at Zanu PF there was a lot of talk prior to the new dispensation of making sure we include women in the presidency.
“Right now, we do not have a woman in the presidium and all the top three in Zanu PF are men. For me, all those pictures where three men are holding hands are a problem.”
She continued; “I have said exactly the same thing to the MDC Alliance.
“It is a shame that a group of men continue to stand up and hold hands together telling themselves they are the leadership.
“They find absolutely nothing wrong in not having one woman in top leadership.”
Zimbabwe is due to hold fresh elections in July with President Emmerson Mnangagwa looking to cement his hold on power after a military-assisted assumption the presidency last November.
His main challengers include MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa and former vice president Joice Mujuru who is fronting the Rainbow Coalition of opposition parties.