By Daniel Chigundu
Progressive Democrats of Zimbabwe (PDZ) founder and leader Barbara Nyagomo who is set to contest for the Muzvezve National Assembly seat says politics is not a “boys a club” and she will not be intimidated by dominating males.
Women in Zimbabwe though constituting the majority (about 54%) have largely occupied second-best positions in politics claiming they cannot compete with males who enjoy a better political advantage because of societal beliefs and myths.
However, Nyagomo a mother of two believes that “leadership is not gender related and a lot of research shows that women are better leaders politically and in many organisations.
“The world is male dominated but politics is not a boys club.
“There are many constraints and barriers I faced and continue to face in a patriarchy society, but I soldier on to pave way for the girl child and women so that they can stand tall serving their country and people,” she said.
The PDZ leader cites such issues as stigma, labelling, lack of resources and funds, cultural and family constraints as major culprits in drawing-back women from scaling the dizzy heights of politics in Zimbabwe and most parts of Africa.
Nyagomo, a Registered General Nurse-Critical Care Nurse (UK) says she joined politics so that she can help change Zimbabwe’s social and political problems adding that “I want to make a difference”.
She said her party will ensure that people in Zimbabwe get good water and sanitation; there are jobs for young people graduating from various tertiary institutions, that industries are back working, there is regulated and safe mining especially for ‘makorokoza’ and provision of good houses for the people.
According to Nyagomo, although she is a party president and is expected to contest for the country’s Presidency, she is, however, contesting for Parliament (Muzvezve Constituency) as she feels that her party is not ready for the Presidential elections that might see over 120 political parties contesting.
“I have only been in Zimbabwe for a year now (relocated from the UK), I will contest as an MP now and others in PDZ are contesting as MPs and councillors and hopefully 2023 the party will be ready for Presidential elections,” she said.
On the much talked about coalitions and alliances, Nyagomo said she has no problem working with others having been previously in the Coalition of Democrats (CODE) and also making fruitless efforts to join the MDC Alliance.
“I made overtures to join MDC Alliance and am sure they have other big fish to fry. We were in CODE which is dying slowly, I am sure there will be proper coalition or Government of National Unity talks after elections,” Nyagomo said.
Besides being the founder of PDZ, Nyagomo is also the founder of the Barbara Nyagomo Foundation which has seen her winning several awards for humanitarian work and business.
She is a RGN-Critical Care Nurse (UK) and holds a Social and community Diploma UK, Business management Manchester UK, Health and social care Manchester Metropolitan University UK and Diaspora Advocacy certificate.
In her own words Barbara Nyagomo says “I am a woman, mother, sister, compatriot, social and humanitarian worker, critical care nurse, politician, social entrepreneur and I support others to feel better and do better for themselves,” she said.
Nyagomo is one of the few female politicians in the form of Joice Mujuru, Lucia Matibenga, Thokozani Khupe, and Marcelina Chikasha who are actually party leaders.