#Ivote4PeaceZW2018 ElectionsArticleselectionsnewsWomen In Politics

Four women contesting for Presidency

By Daniel Chigundu

Only four women have been successfully nominated to contest for the post of President in the impending 2018 general elections set for July 30.

Women have always taken a back seat when it comes to contesting for top posts in both public and private platforms as the elections tend to be associated with violence and always in favour in males.

Though the country’s constitution has spoken about the topical issue of equality between males and females, the implementation of those clauses has been questionable.

Although there are several women who are leading political parties in the country, only Melbah Dzapasi of #1980 Freedom Movement Zimbabwe, Joice Mujuru of People’s Rainbow Coalition, Thokozani Khupe of MDC-T and Violet Mariyacha of United Democratic Movement made it to the list of the final 23 candidates vying for the top post.

2018 Presidential election candidates list

In an interview on the sidelines of the nomination court at High Court of Zimbabwe Violet Mariyacha of UDM said she is confident of victory.

“My chances are 100 percent, I am the next female President of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe needs a mother, it has been hurting for too long and we are giving mothers, fathers and everyone an opportunity for a new start.

“We have fielded less than 100 candidates but we are also working with a lot of independent candidates, but the playing field is really not level,” she said

Last month speaking at a seminar at the University of Zimbabwe organised by the Election Resource Centre, Harare West legislator Jessie Majome said as long as there is no equality in the distribution of posts, the elections cannot be deemed credible.

According to Majome, although women constitute about 54 percent of the country’s population when it comes to representation in various bodies they are the “majority minority”.

Proportional Representation Member Priscilla Misihairabwi had wanted the Electoral Act to have a clause which would force political parties to designate half of all contested seats for women in the name of equality.

Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda speaking during the post budget seminar last year said if there was no deliberate attempt to address the issue of gender through party constitutions then the number of women in Parliament will likely to go down.

It is widely believed by gender activists that by having more women such places as Parliament will go a long in helping raise issues that affect women.

During the time of the Inclusive Government, Zimbabwe was applauded for considering women for top positions following the appointment of Joice Mujuru as Vice President of the country, while Thokozani Khupe was Deputy Prime Minister.

It however, remains to be seen how these women candidates will fare when the election results are eventually announced

 

 

 

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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