Zimbabwe: Female MPs Abuse Cases Rise

There are rampant cases of sexual harassment of female Parliamentarians in the form of comments passed by their male counterparts, National Assembly member (proportional representation), Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has said.

Speaking during a questions without notice time in the National Assembly last week, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga said female MPs were being harassed as it had become evident by the type of language that is used, how they are treated and the sexually suggestive comments by their male counter- parts.She was asking Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on the policy of Parliament on sexual harassment and where female Parliamentarians can report such cases.

In response, VP Mnangagwa said if a criminal offence was committed, one should report the matter to the police as there were no separate laws in Zimbabwe for Parliamentarians regarding sexual harassment.

“If an honourable member is being sexually harassed, they also should follow Parliamentary procedures regarding Parliamentary breaches,” said VP Mnangagwa.

Meanwhile, Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga called for the inclusion of marginalised groups such as youths and women on parastatal boards.

She said the country had not made many achievements in parastatals by appointing men only to the boards.

“In this country, you cannot find a board where a person less than 30 years sits in yet we are churning out young people from universities,” said Mrs Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

“As a country, we have not done well regarding that issue and representation by youths and women would make a huge difference as parastatals are a huge foundation in the country’s economy.”

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