MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has said President Robert Mugabe’s barrage of insults aimed at Lindiwe Zulu — spokesperson for the Sadc-appointed facilitation team shows that he has no respect for women.
Addressing a rally at Lushonkwe ward in Gwanda on Saturday, the Regional Intergration minister said Mugabe’s lack of respect for women was the reason they had suffered the most under his rule.
“A man fails to insult other men at the recent Sadc meeting in Maputo, but has the guts to insult a woman from South Africa,” she said.
“He is saying Zulu is a prostitute because he says she lives in the streets. After the Sadc meeting in Maputo, he went and coiled in his hotel room, but now wants to insult and abuse women.”
Mugabe, at the launch of Zanu PF’s manifesto in Harare last Friday, referred to Zulu as a “street woman” from South Africa who had tried to block the holding of polls by end of July.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said women had borne the brunt of Mugabe’s rule and they had a chance to change that.
“If you want to see that a country is suffering, look at a woman. Women are the ones who have suffered the most from Mugabe’s rule,” she said.
“If we were to go to a secluded place and we take off our clothes, you will be shocked to see how many women do not have undergarments.”
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said in some cases, women wore torn underwear because they could not afford buying new ones.
Secondhand underwear had proved quite popular at flea markets, as women struggled to afford new ones. However, the government and some local authorities responded by banning the sale of secondhand underclothing.
The MDC secretary-general called on the women to go in their numbers to vote Mugabe out of power and choose a leader that would take the country forward.
“This is an election for women,” she said. “You have suffered the most from Mugabe’s rule.
“Make sure that your husbands register to vote and vote on the next election.”
She repeated her calls for women to deny their partners conjugal rights should they fail to register as voters and not take part in elections.