Women’s League conference exemplifies democratic tradition

28 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Women’s League conference exemplifies democratic tradition President Mnangagwa, First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is also Secretary for Environment and Tourism in the Politburo, Vice President and Zanu PF 2nd Secretary Dr Constantino Chiwenga, ZANU PF 2nd Secretary Cde Kembo Mohadi, Secretary for Women Affairs Cde Mabel Chinomona and Women’s League Secretary for Finance Cde Caroline Mugabe during the 7th National Women’s League conference in Harare last week.

The Herald

Ranga Mataire

Group Political Editor

The Zanu PF 7th Women’s League national conference held in Harare last week was a demonstration of a democratic culture that has sustained the revolutionary party before and after attainment of independence in 1980.

The national women’s conference followed the holding of the Zanu PF Youth League congress, which elected a new executive expected to play a significant role in the mobilisation of members ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.

 While both wings the women and youth are critical in making the party vibrant, it is the women’s wing that has attracted more attention for obvious reasons.

First, the massive numbers of the delegates testified to the huge support, the revolutionary party still enjoys among the womenfolk. The huge attendance also exemplifies the resonance of President Mnangagwa’s policies among women who feel being part and parcel of mainstream decision making processes in all facets of society.

Second, the Women’s League congress drew a lot of interest because of the demographic advantage women hold in the country. 

According to www.statisticstimes.com, there are 7,89 million females and 7.21 million males in Zimbabwe. 

Female population by 13 December 2021 stood at 52,26 percent, while that of males was 47,74 percent. 

The 52,26 percent represents a huge figure, which serious political parties must be able to harness. 

Just a casual glance at the delegates that attended the conference surely leads one to believe that the majority of women in the country support Zanu-PF.

The third reason why the Women’s League is such a critical force is because as mothers, women have a better understanding and appreciation of community issues and bear the brunt of sheltering and tendering the family while fathers attend to other chores. 

This is why it is often said that ‘you educate a woman; you educate the nation.’

Besides the demographic dividend derived from women, the Zanu-PF Women’s League congress clearly proved to the world that the revolutionary party adheres to a strict constitutionalism that recognises the sacrosanct of having clear cut structures.

Structures are the bedrock of any serious political organisation because it is through structures that members can have freedom of action and expression. 

Given that political parties are organisations that aim to win elections and implement their political programmes in Government, party structures instil a sense of discipline and an adherence to decisions made within, including election of leaders. 

Without structures, an organisation becomes a cult and a dictatorship.

With its clear cut structures, which give impetus to its organisational and mobilising capacity derived from the liberation struggle as a liberation movement, no one should thus be surprised why the revolutionary Zanu PF party has continued its dominance in the country’s political sphere. And as for the Women’s League, its birth can be traced to Xai-Xai in Mozambique where in 1977, women nationalists who included Cdes Mavis Chidzonga, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Joice Mujuru, Naomi Nhiwatiwa and Julia Zvobgo saw it fit to have a Women’s League.

Its first congress was held in 1978 with the late Cde Sally Mugabe becoming the inaugural secretary.

What is clear from the history of the Women’s League is that Zanu- PF thrives and cherishes national unity, which has created the sound condition for peace and security which Zimbabwe has enjoyed and a rare gift many countries can only dream of.

A fact rarely acknowledged by its opponent is that Zanu PF is driven by its democratic African values where leadership is accountable to the membership, which elects it, hence the holding of district conferences, annual people’s conferences and the national people’s congress.

So democratic is the revolutionary party’s constitution that says every woman who has attained the age of 18 and who is a member of the party is entitled to membership of the Women’s League through her branch executive committee. 

While the league is an autonomous body, it functions within the main structure of Zanu PF.

In general, the main objectives of the Zanu PF Women’s League are to promote the rights of women and remove all impediments to their development as full and equal members of our society.

It was thus not surprising that the just-ended Zanu PF Women’s League national conference was held under the theme: “Total Political, Social and Economic Empowerment for every woman by 2030.” 

The theme dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s rallying call of not leaving anyone and any place behind. 

It also dovetails with the National Development Strategy 1 in pursuit of Vision 2030, which speaks to an empowered and prosperous upper middle income society by 2030.

Within NDS1, the Government endeavours to prioritise gender mainstreaming through visible initiatives that confer equal opportunities to women.

The same document speaks of integration of gender mainstreaming across all sectors that will be strengthened with the awareness of the fact that gender equality is fundamental in the attainment of equitable, sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development.

Buttressing the empowerment message, President Mnangagwa in his address to the Zanu PF Women’s League conference implored women to create synergies and form companies with the capacity to compete for tenders in economic and infrastructural development.

“I, therefore, urge the Women’s League to create internal capacities for increased production and productivity for our “Made in Zimbabwe” goods and services. Scale up your resolve as the Women’s League and women in general, to be bold creators and builders of communities and the Zimbabwe we all want,” President Mnangagwa said.

As the curtain came down on the highly organised and vibrant Zanu-PF Women’s League on Saturday, five main outcomes can be summarised as follows:

The league managed to elect a leadership that will steward women affairs until 2027

The league endorsed President Mnangagwa as the sole Presidential candidate for the 2023 harmonised elections

It called for the party and the Government to deal decisively with corruption

It called for land to be allocated to women and for them to be included in land committees

It further called for the decentralisation of the Chitepo School of Ideology.

Women in Zanu-PF are the bolts and nuts that keep the revolutionary party together.

They are the mobilising machinery that ensures the revolutionary party keeps on growing in numbers. They represent the heart and soul of the party that makes it continue functioning in a humane way and as such their resolutions are bound to be taken seriously by everyone.

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