by Tinotenda Mutasa
MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, has brewed another sexist shocker after his Spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda, claimed that the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Kirtsy Coventry’s highest achievement so far was to fall pregnant.
In a long-winding statement responding to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address yesterday, Sibanda stated that “however, in very cloud, there is a silver line; Minister Coventry has been the first to produce positive news in (President) Mnangagwa’s Cabinet. It is indeed great news that she will soon become a parent. We congratulate her, her husband and family.”
This drew the ire of citizens, who blasted the MDC Alliance for continuing with its sexist rhetoric. Losing POVO council elections candidate, Kudzai Mubaiwa vented on Twitter, “Shame on you all. Shame maningi. With 2.6 or 2.5 million people, you should surely have one quality communications expert. A whole party statement zeroing in on a woman's pregnancy. Juvenile.”
Netizen, Mako, summed it up saying “There's something to be said about the masculinity embodied by MDC's new young leaders. One focused around showmanship, arrogance and a sexism that veils itself as humour and political sparring. They present themselves as a new breed yet continue a sexist tradition in Zimbabwe politics.”
This becomes the second time that Chamisa has taken an unwarranted swipe at Coventry specifically, after he mocked her inclusion in Cabinet during a Thank You rally in Chitungwiza, asking “anonoitei muCabinet mudhidhi?”
However, yesterday’s statement was just the latest manifestation of rampant sexism and misogynist tendencies within the Alliance. During election campaigns, Chamisa once promised his sister in marriage to President Mnangagwa, should he manage to garner just five percent of the vote.
His party also constantly harassed Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) female Commissioners, calling them prostitutes for allegedly working with Zanu PF.