The 11 wives of rapist Independent End Time Messages founder Robert Martin Gumbura recently approached Vice President Joice Mujuru seeking support for their husband jailed for 40 years. Addressing hundreds of women attending a national conference on the realignment of laws in Harare yesterday, Acting President Mujuru said she refused to entertain the women.

"When we look at these issues, we should be able to interrogate further on why it got there. They (Gumbura wives) met my officer, you know what they said? They said we actually encouraged him (Gumbura). They said they encouraged him to take aphrodisiacs to make him stronger since they were many. Imagine, these were also women doing this to other women. What Gumbura did was very wrong, but there were also women behind that. Let us look at both sides when we talk of gender equality," she said.

Acting President Mujuru also said if child marriages were further interrogated, there could be some women involved.

"We say one thing with our mouths, but do another through our actions. Let us end all this," she said.

Acting President Mujuru said women should not look down upon themselves because men would take advantage to further oppress them.

She said the conference's theme "Making the Constitution work for women" was befitting, but for it to work, women should be conversant with the Constitution's provisions in line with their interests.

"It is our aspiration now as the women of Zimbabwe to ensure that these provisions gained in the Constitution are enshrined in the enabling Acts and policies subsequently being implemented in the latter and spirit as designed," she said.

Acting President Mujuru reiterated that in line with the new Constitution, all decision-making bodies should reflect a gender balance.
She said tender procedures should also be guided by the new Constitution and measures put in place to ensure that women who owned companies also benefited.

Acting President Mujuru said a Bill expected to result in establishment of the Gender Commission had passed through Cabinet and would soon be tabled in Parliament.

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