Give women voices for community development- says minister

By Nhau Mangirazi

HARARE– Zimbabwe must push for more female représentation in local government structures including provincial councils.

Contributing during a recent parliament debate, Hon Goodlucky Kwaramba, who is Proportional Représentative MP for Hurungwe called on a 30 percent allocation for women quarter in local government structures.

She said this will enhance gender balance and equity.

Kwaramba said, ‘‘Whilst the minister of Justice Legal and Parliament Affairs (Ziyambi Ziyambi) is making an adjustment to the Provincial Council, we would like to propose that between lines 8 and 9 by the insertion of a new clause 22A Amendment of Section 277 of the Constitution – Section 277 Elections to Local Authorities is amended by the insertion after subsection (3) of 4.  An Act of Parliament may provide for the election by a system of proportional representation referred to in subsection (5) of at least 30% of the total Members of the local council elected on ward basis as women. Elections to Local Authority Councils must be conducted in accordance with the electoral law which must ensure that the persons referred to in subsection 4 are elected under a party list system of proportional representation which is based on the votes cast for candidates representing political parties in the local authority concerned in the general election for members of the local authority,’’

Ziyambi concured that it was noble suggestion.

‘‘I think we have a consensus that let us have some form of proportional representation in terms of our women councillors.  I am persuaded to agree that perhaps let us put it into the constitution for certainty so that when we amend the relevant Act, we will now be aligning it to what we would have put into the constitution consistent with what was agreed upon,’’

Ziyambi agreed that there was need to interrogate submisions made Hon. Pricilia  Misihairabwi-Mushonga further who had suggested inclusion of people with disabilities.

He added, ‘‘It is not just about me standing up and saying let us include people with disability.  I think we must reach a consensus and say, what is it that we need to do about certain special interest groups as regards representation and we reach a consensus that is holistic. I do not think I have the requisite mandate to make a decision right now regarding that.’