Dishonouring ZANU-PF’s Women of War

Posted: October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Xtreme Opinion. Rejoice Ngwenya. 3 October 2012. Harare. Zimbabwe.


The United Nations is a bastion, if not the last frontier in the defence of the rights of women. A raft of international protocols, days set aside to honour women and the millions of replica organisations whose mandate is to defend, maintain and advance the rights of women have been inspired by the global institution since the inception of the League of Nations in 1918. In repressed countries like Zimbabwe, women spend more time than men in reproductive and household work, obtaining water and fuel, caring for children, the sick and processing food to mitigate bad national governance. Despite these arduous chores, they remain beautiful, loving, tender and life-preserving. Simply put, a woman is God’s gift to humanity. 


Our women fought gallantly side-by-side with men for the liberation of Zimbabwe. Taking a cue from their colleagues like Graca Machel, Winnie Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Betty Kaunda, Joanna Nkomo, Sally Mugabe, and Vesta Sithole, they sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. I therefore agonise why the modern-day ZANU-PF party ‘typical’ woman chooses the path of disgrace. She has become an epitome of electoral violence, private property plunder and hateful propaganda against her fellow citizens. I do not in any way insinuate that ‘all ZANU-PF women are war mongers’ since we also find women of ‘coercive’ tendencies in other political parties.


My point is based on empirical evidence. Since 2000, millions of MDC supporters have been displaced, jailed, kidnapped, murdered, maimed, assaulted, insulted and tortured. Yet there are fewer than three ZANU-PF women leaders who have publicly condemned this state-perpetrated violence. I would however want to put it on permanent record that there is no honour or integrity in a woman who is directly or indirectly associated with a party whose sole governance strategy is coercion. Women who are ‘comfortable’ on occupied farms, conservancies or sitting in Parliament on a ZANU-PF ‘ticket from hell’ have no honour. Their claims of ‘taking what belongs to them’ or ‘it’s my husband who did it’ ring hollow in the face of the souls that perished or citizens with permanent physical and emotional scars of political abuse.


I expect my ‘traditional feminist adversaries’ to emerge from their caves of paranoia guns blazing, saying I have excluded Zimbabwean men from this matrix of horror. It is commonsense that Zimbabwean men – especially in ZANU-PF – are the crudest architects of Machiavellian violence. My point is simpler. There are more women supporters in ZANU-PF than men. Thus if there is honour in womanhood – which there is – why are they members of a party that employs all known forms of cruelty to sustain an ideology?  What happened to the nobility of life preservation, tender care, compassion, sympathy and empathy? Have we not seen ZANU-PF women dancing and gyrating to quench the political whims of senior male party functionaries with a violent post-independence political history?


And so as we inch closer to another national election, I resist a temptation to malign honest women of the revolution. I am simply castigating the abuse of ZANU-PF women as high decibel vuvuzelas of a discredited men’s cult movement. To borrow from a Ben Levitas contextualisation, women gyrating and wriggling their waists “project a diminished image of ZANU-PF as an ignorant mob, fanaticised by a primitive ideology and prone to irrational violence.”  This retarded ideology of false entitlement has infected the minds of such compliant women to a point where they consider President Robert Mugabe as the sole legitimate force in their lives. What a disgrace to the progressive woman’s movement!


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