Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa on Wednesday attracted the wrath of female MPs after saying most of them were useless, wasting tax payers’ money and only good at wearing make-up and wigs.
Mr Mliswa, who also chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, directed his attack mostly to legislators under proportional representation during a debate on the welfare of war veterans in the country.
He was ordered to apologise after female legislators felt offended by his statements.
“The issue of the elections in this country is very important and I want to touch on this in terms of the war veterans. This will also touch those living with disability.
“This country should have a quota for people living with disabilities because we have a quota for women. A total of 60 women are in Parliament and, most of them don’t do anything. The only thing that we have seen coming from them is having nice make up and nice wigs.
“The proportional representation of 60 women MPs has actually made us lose money because if you now take stock of what they have done, most of them have done nothing,” said Mr Mliswa.
Harare West legislator Ms Jessie Majome protested Mr Mliswa’s statements saying they denigrated fellow female MPs and demanded an apology.
“His remarks are not only ‘unparliamentary’ but they reek and denigrate women in terms of our very own Standing Rules and Orders. MPs are required to debate issues and not make scurrilous and unjustified attacks on fellow members.
“As female MPs, we have the privilege to be accorded our dignity and respect. If MP Mliswa does not have any issues to debate, he must not take cheap shots at women to get popular mileage. We are MPs of this House that represent our constituencies and the men in this House are also required to represent women. Honourable Speaker, please put him to order. He can’t use this august House to abuse women,” said Ms Majome.
Bulawayo East legislator Ms Tabitha Khumalo fumed: “MP Mliswa said there should be a quota for the disabled people, which we agree. He said women have got their quota, they have 60 seats but they do nothing. Who is he to judge us?” she asked as other female legislators shouted from the background that Mr Mliswa will not win in the coming elections because of his conduct.
After being ordered by the Speaker of Parliament to apologise MP Mliswa said: “I want to apologise, in the event that I offended anybody. What I will say is that for what I am and hope to be, I owe it to my mother.”