Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga Leaves MDC Ncube

This piece has been prompted by friends, journalists and colleagues who have sought to find out whether I am standing as a candidate in these elections and if I am, on whose ticket I will be doing so given that my party published their list of candidates.

I have given this 48hours to allow for some formal communication from the party and have not received one, therefore my response is premised on what I have read as the press statement from the party spokesperson.

Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude to the MDC and its leadership for allowing me to be their representative since 2000.

For all the differences I may have had with some people in the party, this is one party that allowed me as a person to grow in many areas of what has become my political experience.

The fact that both during the inclusive government negotiations and the constitution making process, the MDC remained the only party that deployed a woman to the table.In fact it was only the MDC that had a woman as its chief negotiator. I will remain grateful for that opportunity.

The last Parliamentary term will remain the most fulfilling of my time in Parliament, without the encumbrances of party work, I was free to play my representative role to my heart’s content. I was able to bring issues I felt were at the heart of the women I represented, was able to speak on the issues of Matebelaland without being apologetic, and in all this, at no point did the party seek to restrain or censor me, for that I remain indebted.

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 therefore hold no grudge against the party for choosing to move forward without me. I was able to bring to Parliament a baby, sanitary wear, used panties. In spite of the backlash that my party must have suffered, at no point was I censured or felt the party was unhappy.

I wish both the party and it’s candidate the best in the coming election.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.

I do wish the women candidates even more luck and will be cheering them when they take their seats in the house.

On my part, when Parliament goes into recess I will be engaging with opinion leaders in Mat south who have given me so much support in the last five years and together we shall agree on what role, if any, I should take including how they see me playing that role.

I will remain an activist on women’s issue and remain convinced that the issue of marginalisation of Matebelaland should take center stage in the national discourse.

I wish to thank the many women that have supported my crazy way of doing things in the house. 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 , if you need tips we will be there, and don’t mind the bullies it gets better.

Cheers.