MDC’s Matabeleland South Proportional Representation legislator, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga yesterday said she did not feel hard done when the opposition party decided to exclude her in its candidates’ list for this year’s polls.
The Welshman Ncube-led MDC on Sunday unveiled names of 31 candidates who will represent the party in this year’s house of assembly polls, with Misihairabwi-Mushonga not on the list.
Speculation is rife that she was sidelined for supporting the Thokozani Khupe MDC-T splinter, which broke ranks with the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC-T over the formation of the MDC Alliance.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said although she had been left out, she still saluted the party for incorporating women in its previous structures.
“Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to the MDC and its leadership for allowing me to be their representative since 2000 … this is one party that allowed me as a person to grow in many areas of what has become my political experience.”
“In fact, it was only the MDC that had a woman as its chief negotiator. I will remain grateful for that opportunity,” she said.
“I have always believed that submitting to a party means submitting to being deployed where the party feel you are best suited. There are many people who have capacity and perhaps better energy to take on Parliament role and it is important that they too are supported and encouraged to move forward. I am, however, disappointed that the numbers of women on the list is very, very small and for a party founded on the respect of women and gender equality I expected better.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said she will continue fighting for women’s rights.
“I will remain an activist on women’s issues and remain convinced that the issue of marginalisation of Matabeleland should take centre stage in the national discourse … If I don’t go back into the house I do hope that the women who go in will build on the little steps we have climbed and just remember,” she said.
MDC spokesperson, Kurauone Chihwayi, yesterday said Misihairabwi-Mushonga should not have expected preferential treatment.
“We are proud of her work and her loyalty to the party. She is a human being with strengths and weaknesses just like anybody else. Misihairabwi may not be perfect, but commands respect within the party. Our other party female legislators like Joice Ndlovu, Tholakele Khumalo and Jasmine Toffa satisfactorily excelled in and outside the party. Their appearance on the final list of candidates was prompted by their commitment to duty.”