Harassment of Female Parliamentarians Disgusting
23 November 2018
Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE), is concerned about the violent and callous attacks on women Parliamentarians by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) at the Parliament of Zimbabwe on 22 November 2018 at the occasion of the 2019 budget.
The force used by ZRP was as disproportionate as it was illegal. Every Zimbabwean has freedom of conscience and as such cannot be forced by draconian rules to respect oppressive protocols. After all seating or standing has no real effect on the ability or lack thereof of the President to deliver.
To attack honourable members with booted feet, fists and baton sticks is barbaric and confirm that the Government is not yet committed to respecting the Constitution which guarantees the safety of every citizen to freely participate in democratic processes.
The incident left dozens of women Parliamentarians traumatised and two injured and this certainly curtails women’s active and effective participation in political processes. Violence is a deterring factor for women and its continued use in politics, moreso in Parliament, must be condemned with total contempt.
That the attack occurred while the President and members of cabinet gleefully watching the callous acts by police leaves a lot to be desired. And sadly so the unfortunate incident happening 3 days before the country joins the rest of the world in commemorating 16 days of activism against gender based violence.
As WALPE we are committed to promoting women’s effective participation in governance and democratic processes and we call on the government of Zimbabwe to respect women’s rights and uphold the rule of law.
We wish a speedy recovery to Hon Thabitha Khumalo and Hon Lynette Karenyi who were injured during the skirmishes.
WALPE Information Department