Males dominate again as Parliament appoints Portfolio Committee chairpersons

Males dominate again as Parliament appoints Portfolio Committee chairpersons
Males dominate again as Parliament appoints Portfolio Committee chairpersons

By Daniel Chigundu

Zimbabwe has continued to propagate male dominance in appointment of officers to leadership roles, following the appointment of Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chairpersons in the National Assembly.

Out of the 22 positions that were available, women got 4 while males shared 18 positions.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has 2 females out of the 7 committees they are leading.

Zanu PF however is the major culprit as it has only 2 females from the 15 committees it is leading in the National Assembly.

This is not the first time that males have been allowed to enjoy dominance since the August 2023 general election, where only 21 females won in 210 seats that were open.

According to the list of elected candidates published in the Government Gazette by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on the youth quota, males got 7 seats while females got 3 seats.

As if that is not enough, Zanu PF went on to appoint a male Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda. Zimbabwe has never had a female Speaker of Parliament since 1890 when it got independence. The position has been occupied by males only.

Although the Senate is led by a female, Mabel Chinomona, still the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda is the head of Parliament, according to the constitution.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa went on to appoint more males than females in his cabinet, in total violation of Section 104(4) of the constitution.

Section 104(4) says ‘’In appointng Ministers and Deputy Ministers, the President must be guided by consideration of regional and gender balance.’’

He also denied women a position in the country’s Presidium preferring to return Kembo Mohadi who had resigned over sexual scandals.

These developments comes at a time when the Constitution of Zimbabwe in Section 17 emplores the government to promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society.

Section 17(1)(a) says ’’The state must promote full gender balance in Zimbabwean society, and in particular-the state must promote the full participation of women in all spheres of Zimbabwean society on basis of equality with men’’

In previous interviews, Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) president Linda Masarira said there must be 50/50 representation in all organs of the state.

‘’Women are not children of a lesser God. The Constitution of Zimbabwe is supreme law of this land which should be adhered to in its totality.

‘’As a Pan African feminist transformation leader, I demand 50/50, in all organs of the state as enshrined in the constitution of Zimbabwe,’’ she said.

The four females that have been appointed to lead portfolio committees are, Dorothy  Mashonganyika (Public Service Labour  and Social Welfare), Getrude  Mutandi (Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development), Joana Mamombe (Environment, Climate, Wildlife, Tourism and Hospitality), and Fadzayi Mahere (Higher Education, Science and Technology Development).