Zimbabwe Chiefs Council President Fortune Charumbira has challenged female Senators to all get pregnant before the end of the year to prove they were sincere about their calls for locals to produce at least 8 children.
Charumbira’s challenge comes after Mashonaland West Senator Mike Byton Musaka moved a motion urging government to encourage Zimbabwean couples to produce a minimum of eight children. The controversial motion received overwhelming support from male and female Senators from both Zanu PF and MDC-T who in their arguments said that larger populations stimulate economic growth and attract investors. However Charumbira criticised fellow Senators for remaining fixated in their old African thinking and demonstrating poor understanding of how economies functioned and said:
As someone who is learned and is a chief, I want to say that the idea that the bigger the population, the more the country is developed is a false phenomenon. We do not want to go out there and begin to talk about things that will make us a laughing stoke as senators who are not learned. There are also some small countries like Switzerland which has a population of about 7 million, but their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is probably five times greater than that of Zimbabwe.
Charumbira said those advocating many children should start by revealing how many children they had themselves before they could start encouraging the others to do the same. Said Charumbira:
Recently, I read in the paper that a woman of 65 years was staying with one of the relatives who is 19 years old. They fell in love and agreed to have a child at 65 years old. That was in the paper. In this House, I looked at everyone and saw that there is no off-layers because no one is 65. The motion that you are supporting, the 65 year olds are having children. In November, we want to see all of you pregnant so as to ensure that you are serious with the support that you have given to this debate.