Masarira Threatens To Drag Mnangagwa To Court

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Opposition activist and president of LEAD, Linda Masarira has threatened to drag President Emmerson Mnangagwa and parliament to court for “failing to swiftly address women’s cyber bullying issues and fair representation in the political playing field.”

Masarira said this in Harare today, on the side-lines of a workshop to analyse a report on the state of gender inclusivity in Zimbabwe before, during and after the 2023 general elections.

Addressing journalists after the program, Masarira said, “Yes, we will pursue our issue of taking President Emmerson Mnangagwa and parliament to court, and I am also happy that I am the legal chairperson of the national election reform agenda. This is something that we have been deliberating so that cyber bullying and gender issues are addressed.”

She added that women in politics suffer more when it comes to competing against their male counterparts, further urging women in politics and those in male dominated areas to stand up and fight for their rights.

“In 2018, I decided to follow another political setup. It’s Hopewell Chino’no, who started to label me that uyu haageze and now it’s all over the place. President Mnangagwa has so many children, and no one says anything about that. Sabhuku Themba Mliswa has many kids, and he was even given a positive sobriquet Bhuru, but as of me I just have five kids, but it’s unfortunate that I receive negative labels.

“Gender disinformation is not just coming from the media, it’s also coming from the State, so it’s time for us women to stand up and fight for our rights,” said Masarira.

Director of Media Monitors in Zimbabwe, Mrs. Farisai Chaniwa, said civil society organizations and women need to raise their voices if they want to change the current patriarchal society setup.

“The situation of misinformation against women is hard to tackle unless women and other civil society organizations, together with policy makers and the government, actually take a stand against how women are perceived. I think it’s never going to change because of our culture, where we are coming from a patriarchal society,” said Chaniwa.

Responding to the issue of limited active participation of women in politics, award winning journalist, Mary Mundeya, who was part of the panelists during the media monitoring situational analysis, said women should absorb information pertaining to their ministries, to remain relevant in politics.

“Some women don’t actually have information about their political areas, so as women, I urge you to invest much time in acquiring knowledge, so that when you get into these positions, you would have something substantial to say,” explained Mary.

During the 2023 general elections, social media abuse against women was rampant, with musician Sandra Ndebele, opposition leader Linda Masarira, and ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba bearing the brunt of cyberbullying.


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