Even though women constitute more than three million of the five and a half million registered voters in Zimbabwe, historically women participation in leadership roles and politics is minimal.
One of the few female contenders for the presidential seat, Joice Mujuru has hit the campaign trail. Her party launched its manifesto a couple of weeks ago.
An election date was set last Wednesday.
This weekend she took her campaign to Masvingo province. It’s the first time she will be campaigning as an opposition candidate against her former party Zanu-PF.
In contrast to her two main opponents, Mjuru is not being funded by the state. The former Vice President was unceremoniously dismissed from the ruling party in 2014 after allegations of her wanting to unseat former President Robert Mugabe were made.
Now the leader of the National People’s Party has gone into coalition with other smaller opposition parties and leads them under the banner the People’s Rainbow Coalition.
She has women and youth rallying behind her campaign.
National People’s Party Agnes Chiwawa says:”I think Zimbabwe as a nation needs mother’s love. We have suffered a lot for the past 37 years. No jobs, no medicine, so I think this nation needs mother’s love.”
Mujuru says her leadership should be derived from the people and not leaders telling followers what to do.
“People sold their cattle to send children to schools, whose wives are dying in wheelbarrows on their way to hospital because the roads are impassable, and the bridges have been swept away. Those are the ones who should determine the agenda and tell us what they want.”
As the race for the political office intensifies, there appears to be a grant coalition of all opposition parties.
They are already selling their message to the electorate to ensure they end Zanu-PF’s 38 year grip on power.
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