VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa was yesterday given sanitary pads by female MPs after he professed ignorance on what they were and how they were used.
Senior Parliamentary REPORTER
This was after MDC-T proportional representation MP for Harare Tetty Banda asked the minister to explain government policy on ensuring that female prisoners got sanitary wear.
“To be honest I am not sure what sanitary wear is,” he said.
“I stayed in prison for 10 years and I never heard about that because we stayed in different sections with female prisoners. I did not know about it – I am ignorant.
“However, I believe they are a necessity and a right as well as a special need relating to female prisoners and so I will undertake to check the system and ensure they are supplied.”
Banda immediately forked out an unused sanitary pad from her handbag and gave it to Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC proportional representation MP) to pass on to Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa took the pad and in jest said he would have preferred a demonstration on how they are used.
“I am grateful to the MPs who managed to show me panty pads, but what they failed to do was to demonstrate how they are used,” he said, sending the house into laughter.
Meanwhile, Harare Central MP Murisi Zvidzai asked Mnangagwa to give a progress report on electoral reforms and amendments to the Electoral Act to enable access to the electronic voters’ roll and registration of new voters.
Mnangagwa said the amendments would be brought before Parliament today or next Tuesday.
“We have finished doing 11 Acts which relate to electoral reforms and registration procedures,” he said.
Mnangagwa said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should register new voters as provided for in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa claimed sanctions had fuelled corruption in the country.
“Sanctions by their very nature cause corruption in that they induce businesspeople to do transactions outside normal channels,” he said.
“As long as Americans want to do business here, they will do so using clandestine channels.
“The ranking being done is politically-motivated. Countries we are better off than are ranked higher than Zimbabwe. It is not objective and we are ranked low in order to be punitive to us.”
Chinamasa told the House that alluvial diamond deposits had been exhausted, adding that only Marange mining company was prepared to do exploration for kimberlite diamonds.