Parliament throws away WRN’s petition

Parliament throws away WRN’s petition
Parliament throws away WRN’s petition

Parliament throws away WRN’s petition

Parliament of Zimbabwe has thrown away a petition by the Women’s Reform Network (WRN) which was seeking Parliament’s help to block the government’s move to create proportional representation seats for women in local authorities.

Women’s Reform Network is a coalition of 25 women’s rights organisations

The women’s organisation did not want the government to create extra seats but that it shares the current seats between men and women.  

Making the announcement in the National Assembly, Speaker Jacob Mudenda said the petition did not specify what it wanted Parliament to do.

‘’I wish to advise the House that on 29th September 2021, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Women’s Reform Network.

‘’The petition was deemed inadmissible as the prayer did not specify what the petitioners wanted Parliament to do.  The petitioners have since been notified accordingly,’’ he said.

In its petition to Parliament, WRN argued that creating seats outside the current wards will burden the taxpayers. The organisation also contended that the 30% is also not in line with the 50-50 constitutional provision.

‘’As Women’s Reform Network, we appreciate the need for interventions to increase women’s representation in elected and appointed leadership at all levels.

‘’However, we believe that any intervention must first be informed by the constitutional provisions of Section 17, 56 and 80 which expressly envisages and demand a legal framework which implements 50-50 gender equality at all levels in Zimbabwe.

‘’In addition, it is our considered view that any quotas must be allocated within the existing number of seats. Women empowerment in leadership must not create a burden on the taxpayers whose net effect would affect the adequacy and accessibility of quality gender-responsive service delivery which would in turn adversely impact the very same women who must be empowered.

‘’It is against this background that as the Women’s Reform Network we respectfully differ with the Honourable Minister,’’ read part of the petition.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the National Assembly has announced that Parliament has accepted a petition from Zimbabwe Revenue and Allied Workers Trade Union asking for the amendment of the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11].

‘’I also have to inform the House that on Monday, 27th September 2021, Parliament received a petition from the General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Revenue and Allied Workers Trade Union, Mr Lovemore Ngwarati, beseeching Parliament to amend the provisions of the Revenue Authority Act, Chapter 23:11, to restore the provisions allowing for the retention of funds and a funding model for ZIMRA.

‘’The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development,’’ he said.

Parliament throws away WRN’s petition