By Sithembile Mhlanga
As a member of MDC Women’s Assembly there are issues that have agitated me for some time now which I would like to lay to rest once and for all. These issues are to do with the deception mainly from our donor funded, driven sisters, riding on a lie that the MDC Alliance has marginalised women and is now a bastion of patriarchy.
The issue I will deal with is that it is over written and has been stated for decades even before the MDC was formed that men have by and large dominated in decision-making positions on the political front.
An issue our liberation struggle failed to deal with albeit even as women fought side by side the men they were short changed after independence. It is a matter that has seized the MDC since its formation, and as a social democratic party we went further in ensuring that women are accorded their rightful place in structures of decision-making, with some of our sisters who are crying foul today having benefited for decades from this sensitivity towards women, honouring them to high places of leadership even in influential government posts during the GNU.
At the formation of the MDC Alliance, we had a good man, may his soul rest in peace, President Morgan Tsvangirai, who united with other political parties, which by default were also led by men to form the MDC-Alliance.
Overtures to one female political leader failed after she made extra ordinary and unreasonable demands which even shockingly included her telling our late President Tsvangirai she could not serve under him, as she was previously a whole deputy President of a country, making him her junior.
Those talks failed, the President moved with the willing parties, to form an alliance that has become a formidable force now under the leadership of our President Advocate Nelson Chamisa.
In seeking donor funds a lot of our sisters, become drama queens and actresses pulling every card and using every trick they can think of, they hate truth and facts. These sisters in their drama will make any Nollywood actress envious, sando kwavari.
This is why I sit here to write, the fact of the matter is that we women in the Assembly have all remained resolute and stand behind our leader Hon. Chamisa, as now proven without doubt by our ability to mobilise grassroots structures, with such love, energy and vibrancy. The energy of vibrant women’s mobilisation talks for itself and does not need any scientific explanation, the party belongs to the women and they love it. Even as I write one cadre of the struggle, gamba rerusununguko Yvonne Musarurwa tastes freedom today, after months of unfair incarceration.
Before our sisters cry for donor funds, they must understand that the MDC Alliance is bigger then their love for money and power, it is a people’s movement, led equally by men and women, game changers who are driving Zimbabwe to her future of peace and prosperity.
The women’s movement in the MDC is as alive as it was at the formation of the party in 1999. Notable women who have served the party, sacrificed for it and still do, the likes of Hon. Jessie Majome, Hon. Tabitha Khumalo, Mrs Teresa Makone, Hon, Paurina Mpariwa, Hon. Ruth Labode. I run out of space to name them, and cannot even start to mention the overwhelming support of other women not in the structures, but notable feminists game changers of our time.
They say a lie can travel round the world and back before truth has time to close its zip. The lie about there being no women in the MDC Alliance has to be dealt with now.
We are tired as women of women who have milked our struggle, our pain, our suffering claiming to represent us and yet doing nothing notable for any woman except to create spaces for themselves, for power, for influence and self enrichment.
Women who are driven by pride and conceit that if they are not there, then automatically those of us involved participating in the MDC Alliance are diminished ridiculed and become less women.
No my sisters. This time round the movement of women from the north, south, east and west at grassroots level, serving communities, offering leadership will not be taken for another ride.
We remain strong and resolute behind the MDC Alliance and will push for progressive policies, that benefit the girl child and women. Women are going to be a force in the next MDC Alliance government.
Look for donor funds my sisters but not over lies and deception.