Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
ZANU PF Women’s League has called for stringent measures against unscrupulous businesspeople hiking prices without justification.
Presenting a report at the 7th Zanu PF Women’s League elective conference in Harare yesterday, the league’s Secretary for Women’s Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona said incessant prices hikes of basic commodities have affected the quality of life.
“We are appealing to the Government to investigate some unscrupulous businesspeople who are hiking prices of basic commodities at the expense of the general public,” said Cde Chinomona.
The league’s programmes, Cde Chinomona said, had not been spared by the price hikes.
While the Government was putting in place measures to address economic challenges, saboteurs were continuing with speculative behaviour.
Generally, price rises originate with the manufacturers, importers or other suppliers who continually update retailers what the replacement cost of their products will be. The retail sector, with far more competition, just applies fixed percentage mark-ups.
This is why so much effort is now being put in place to stop manufacturers, who supply more than 70 percent of supermarket products, from arbitraging on exchange rates and so fixing prices according to the black market exchange rate.
Recent reports from the investigations have found that this arbitraging between rates was rife, with a number of major manufacturers manipulating the black market.
While programmes of the Women’s League have not been spared, Cde Chinomona said they were aware that the Government had fixed economic fundamentals.
“However, it is surprising that prices continue to rise,” she said.
Cde Chinomona said the league believed that there was a third hand bent on sabotaging the Government.
“The increase in prices is quite shocking. It is politically-motivated with a view to suffocating the people so that they dislodge the Government. As the league we will come with solutions to ease food shortages,” she said.
Women empowerment programmes such as baking, soap making, market gardening will also take centre stage across the country to capacitate women
Said Cde Chinomona: “As the league we will engage in baking bread and soap-making. We are appealing for baking and soap-making ingredients to engage in self-help projects”.
She called for the alignment of the party Constitution to the national constitution on gender parity.
“There is still need to work hard in order to achieve the idea of gender parity in society and the party. Party policies should be inclined more towards uplifting more and more women so that they can compete on an equal footing with men. This necessarily involves availing resources for campaigning, and stamping out sexism, sexual harassment, and all vices that seek to perpetrate women’s subjugation,” she said.
“In this light, we call for the alignment of the party constitution to the national constitution on gender parity,” said Cde Chinomona.
President Mnangagwa has appointed a number of women in critical positions in Government
The Women’s League, she said is also concerned with the rise of domestic abuse, sexual abuse and child marriages in Zimbabwe. The party should take the lead in the education of such acts.
The league also supported the rise in the age of sexual consent from 16 to 18 years made when the Constitutional Court aligned this age with the minimum age of marriage set in the Constitution.
The league, Cde Chinomona added, was appealing for stiffer penalties for those engaging in corruption. “Corruption is a cancer which is affecting the economy. We need everyone to work hard for the betterment of the country.”
The call comes with more people, high and low, being arrested and convicted for corruption with even ex-ministers being jailed and recently groups arrested for trying to bribe the police.
The league is committed to mobilise people to vote forZanu PF ahead of the 2023 harmonised elections.
Presiding over the conference, Zanu PF National chairman Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said there was no tool for development which is more effective than empowering women.
The women of Zimbabwe, she said were approximately 52 percent of the total population.
“I therefore challenge the Women’s League to employ strategies to mobilise more women to join and register and vote for Zanu PF during the 2023 harmonised elections,”.
The Women’s League was established in 1977, in Mozambique with the sole responsibility of promoting the rise of women and eradicating impediments that hinder the development of women as equal participants in the society.
Women have immense opportunities to participate in all levels of political decision-making without hindrance and fear.
The report, she said, chronicles the good works that have been done by the Women’s League from 2014 to date.