Mashudu Netsianda and Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
ZANU-PF yesterday slammed the MDC Alliance for disrespecting women at every turn saying the electorate must not vote for the coalition in the forthcoming elections.
Addressing hundreds of party supporters at two separate rallies in Bulawayo’s Old Pumula and Njube suburbs yesterday, Zanu-PF Director in the Commissariat, Retired Colonel George Nare said MDC Alliance’s tendency of disrespecting women is unacceptable and disgusting.
He was referring to last week’s incident during which rowdy MDC Alliance supporters labelled the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba “a prostitute” after she refused to give in to their demands ahead of the July 30 harmonised elections.
In May this year, MDC-T rival leader Dr Thokozani Khupe was subjected to the same insults by youths aligned to MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Mr Nelson Chamisa outside the Supreme Court in Harare. They called her “a prostitute” for calling for a congress to choose the legitimate MDC-T leader following the death of Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
The unruly youths have also abused another MDC-T politician, Ms Jessie Majome, who had complained over the imposition of a candidate in her constituency and demanded a primary election. Ms Majome is now standing as an independent candidate in Harare West.
“The electorate should reject power hungry MDC Alliance which has resorted to calling women in power prostitutes for not bowing to unnecessary pressure. You should not elect into power a party that does show any form of respect for women,” said Cde Nare.
MDC-T chairperson for the Chamisa camp, Mr Morgen Komichi defended the vulgar language directed at Justice Chigumba by MDC Alliance youths, arguing that she was “very pompous and arrogant.”
Cde Nare said the offensive language used against Justice Chigumba was unacceptable and uncalled for.
“They went to Zec offices to insult Justice Chigumba, a renowned High Court Judge and lawyer, hurling insults calling her a prostitute. Are these the people who want to rule the country yet they fail to respect a woman, another man’s wife? Telling her that she is a prostitute simply because they just want to rule,” he said.
“They chased (Dr) Khupe from the party and now they are running towards Zec calling Mai Chigumba a prostitute,” said Rtd Col Nare.
He said Zimbabweans deserve leaders who understand and respect women.
“We deserve a lot better than Chamisa and company who don’t respect women,” said Cde Nare.
He urged the electorate to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying he is a tried and tested leader whose track record is traceable.
Rtd Col Nare said Zanu-PF under the leadership of former President Mr Robert Mugabe had lost the plot with corruption and looting being the order of the day.
He said the previous regime under the leadership of Mr Mugabe used illegal sanctions as a scapegoat for mismanaging the country’s economy and fuelling corruption.
“Indeed sanctions had a bearing on the country’s economy but the collapse of the country’s economy was a direct result of corruption. Corruption is like cancer, it does not make any noise but it will be eating you silently,” he said.
Rtd Col Nare attributed the closure of industries in Bulawayo to corruption and greed by some individuals.
Turning to Operation Restore Legacy, Rtd Col Nare said the Zimbabwe Defence Forces launched the campaign after realising that Zanu-PF had turned against the aspirations of the people.
He said President Mnangagwa was correcting the wrongs that Mr Mugabe had made.
“The army generals noted that what was happening was not a reflection of what they fought for. As war veterans we fought to liberate the country both politically and economically but sadly, some selfish individuals wanted to reverse the gains of our independence through greed hence Operation Restore Legacy was launched last year in November,” he said.
Cde Nare said under the new dispensation, the Government is committed to serving the interests of its people.
“When people choose you to lead them, you should be a man or woman of integrity with true leadership qualities,” he said.
“We don’t want thieves to lead us. The leadership of Cde Mnangagwa is a tried and tested leadership. He went to war, he was a Cabinet Minister, and ended up being a Vice President.”
He said President Mnangagwa is at the forefront of implementing devolution. Cde Nare urged Zimbabweans to unite regardless of political differences.
“We are one Zimbabwe and it is important for us to unite and work together as one people despite political differences,” he said.