Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
More Government measures to address the price rises in basic goods and services since the beginning of the year are expected to be announced today, President Mnangagwa told the Seventh National Congress of the Zanu PF Women’s League in Harare yesterday.
Prices of basic goods have risen fast since the beginning of the year, with the inflation largely fuelled by manipulations of the black market and then many suppliers and retailers using these resulting black market exchange rates to set prices in local currency after costing the products in US dollars.
The President said the Government saw that women bore the brunt of the challenges brought about by rising inflation and consequences of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western countries.
“My Government will tomorrow (today) be announcing concrete measures to tame inflation and unwarranted increases in prices and towards securing incomes and savings of our people, particularly women.
“We remain committed to ensure sustainable delivery of social services such as water and sanitation, availing affordable and quality education, and improving access to green energy solutions, among others,” he said.
The congress, which is running at Harare International Conference Centre under the theme: “Total Political, Social and Economic Emancipation for Every Women by 2030.”
In his address, President Mnangagwa said the event should set the tone for the involvement of women towards the realisation of the national vision of being an empowered middle income economy by 2030.
“The successes and inroads you have made in sectors of the economy such as agriculture, mining, tourism and manufacturing is equally commendable. We were together in the trenches and you continue to play your role in building our great motherland, Zimbabwe. Well done to the Women of Zimbabwe. Well done to the Women’s League of our colossal mass party, Zanu PF.”
President Mnangagwa commended the Women’s League as the bedrock of the party as witnessed in the mobilisation in the 2018 harmonised election.
It was the responsibility of the Women’s League current leadership to change the perspective and discourse of the role of women in the party, society and national development to ensure gender equality and sustainable women empowerment for future generations.
The President said Government and the party recognised that women had an important, indispensable role to play towards sustainable economic development and prosperity.
“When women are present at the national decision making table, our development is accelerated. Indeed, when women thrive, we all thrive, the nation thrives.
“This conference must, therefore, address the contemporary issues that will drive greater participation of women in the socio-economic and political arena. You cannot afford to undertake your affairs in a business as usual manner,” President Mnangagwa said.
He challenged the Women’s League to base their discussions and programmes on the party’s multi-pronged development agenda and come up with resolutions that capacitate women to adapt to current needs and the future socio-economic environment.
The President paid tribute to the fallen heroes that served the party and the Women’s League since its inception such as late national heroes Cde Jane Lungile Ngwenya and Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba.
The Women’s League will elect new leadership at the congress and President Mnangagwa commended the league for the peaceful nature they conducted the provincial conferences across the 10 provinces saying the high number of candidates was an indication of increased consciousness and willingness to serve the party.
The President, who is also the Zanu PF First Secretary, urged the Women’s League to continuously strengthen its structures ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.
Under the Second Republic, the President said, more women were being appointed to leadership positions while the women’s special quota of extra seats in Parliament was extended by a further 10 years, to allow more time for the ordinary political processes to produce parity, while a 30 percent special quota had been introduced into local authorities to accelerate their progress to gender equality.
“The decision by my Government to start the Women’s Micro Finance Bank and a plethora of other empowering initiatives is ample testimony that we are alert to your needs,” he said.
The President thanked the Women’s League for its role in the fight against Covid-19 including production of personal protective equipment.
The Women’s League had an important role to play in peace building and educating younger generations of the country’s history and vision.
“The hard and dark experiences of the colonial era can never be whitewashed. It must be made clear to all our people that those who imposed sanctions on us wish ill upon our country and people.”
He warned Zimbabweans to never be hoodwinked by the disguises of such ill-wishers pretending to be champions of democracy and human rights.
The Congress runs until tomorrow.