MDC women assembly chairperson Lynette Karenyi, who is also Manicaland proportional representative, said that women parliamentarians face routine sexual harassment from their male counterparts. She said that Joanna Mamombe, MP for Harare West constituency has borne the brunt of those crude remarks. Karenyi implicated two ZANU PF male legislators namely Kindness Paradza and Tafanana Zhou. Speaking in Parliament yesterday moments before Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube delivered the national budget, she said
I have decided to take courage to put to your attention that there is sexual harassment happening in this August House. I represent women out there and my presence here is encouraging other women to stand up and fight for our space but I have realised that if I do not say this out, not most of the women can stand up and speak.
I have received reports from my fellow colleagues that they are also receiving this same sexual harassment and I strongly feel that there is a difference between heckling and sexual harassment.…To me, it is sexual harassment. As females, we take such moves as disrespectful; we are not sexual objects and we deserve respect.
Our male counterparts should treat us with respect because we are mothers and we are Members of Parliament… We should feel free Mr Speaker to stand up and debate without being given or being labelled as we are not wives of such Members of Parliament. This sexual harassment continues each and every day when we step into this Parliament.
Tafanana Zhou is a Zimbabwean politician who is Member of Parliament for Mberengwa North constituency after winning in the 2018 elections. Read More About Tafanana Zhou