President Mnangagwa’s cabinet reshuffling gender sensitive?

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Keith T Mambo
Keith T Mambohttps://www.zimetro.co.zw/
Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA), trustees of Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (Walpe), argue that Mnangagwa violated the Constitution which requires him to ensure that women constitute at least half the membership of all elective and appointed governmental bodies.

Women’s representative groups are suing the President for making Cabinet appointments that are not gender-sensitive.

“The first respondent is required to uphold, defend, and respect this Constitution as the supreme law of the nation and must ensure that this Constitution and all the other laws are faithfully observed.

He is further required to be guided by considerations of regional and gender balance in appointing ministers and their deputies,” ZWLA director Abigail Mutsvayi said.

The court heard that since November last year, Mnangagwa has either reshuffled his Cabinet or appointed ministers on at least four occasions.

ZWLA submitted that following an announcement by chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda on November 8 last year, Mnangagwa appointed five female and eight male ministers and a further five women and 13 men as deputy ministers.

This constituted 21 and 28 percent of women appointed as ministers or deputies, respectively.

ZWLA noted how Mnangagwa, after sacking Health minister Obadiah Moyo, had replaced him with a male candidate, vice president Constantino Chiwenga, while the late Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri’s position was filled by another man, Anxious Masuka.

They further complained that after former Energy minister Fortune Chasi was fired, Mnangagwa replaced him with Soda Zhemu, another male.

It can be argued that the President according to the constitution has the executive power to appoint or reshuffle his cabinet.

However, the Women’s Representative felt females are being left out and the president only favouring male dominance in the government.

We are yet to receive more information on this gender-based case in court. It is very interesting that the president is also the one who appoints judges who are supposed to handle such cases as well.

Source | Bulawayo 24

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