Voices from Zimbabwe

Global Voices has posted a harrowing video documenting the brutal beatings suffered by worker's union demonstrators recently. Read the post and watch the video here.

Debate surrounding a new law, the Domestic Violence Bill, became the context for a much criticized misogynistic outburst in Zimbabwe's parliament last week. Timothy Mubhawu, a controversial Zimbabwe's Member of Parliament, attracted the ire of women worldwide when he, purpoting “to represent God”, expressed his views on the proposed bill,

“I stand here representing God Almighty. Women are not equal to men. It is a dangerous Bill and let it be known in Zimbabwe that the right, privilege and status of men is gone. I stand here alone and say this bill should not be passed in this House. It is a diabolic Bill. Our powers are being usurped in daylight in this House.”

This outburst, wouldn't nearly be as appalling had it been uttered by any other legislator save for Mubhawo. Zimbabwean women were on the streets the day after Mubhawo's infamous statement. Mubhawo is the chief suspect in the brutal assault of Trudy Stevenson, a white female parliamentarian.

Refuting Mubhawo's outdated mindset, Zimpundit highlights the respect given to women in traditional Zimbabwean culture.

Zimbabwean culture places a premium on the role women play. According to Shona oral tradition, the most heinious offense a child can commit is assaulting their mother. The whole concept in the Shona language of “kutanda botso” or high filial treason, is built around protecting the mother figure. There is no such measure advocating for the protection of paternal figures yet this idea is reinforced among children over and over again as they grow up. The sense of unquestioning respect that our cultures heaps upon a mother is so high, I can clearly remember feeling guilty of this filial high treason for mere anger at my own mother. What's worse is the consequences of “kutanda botso” are assured psychiatric rages as payment from the ancestors, it can be very scary growing up a Zimbabwean child.

The Zimbabwean civic group, Kubatana, has comprehensive coverage of developments surrounding the bill here.

In other news, the Reserve Bank Govenor, Gideon Gono, issued another monetary policy statement. The Bearded Man comments on the terms of the new statement,

With my limited understanding of the fiscal sector, I still think that this is rather like cutting off their nose to spite their face. Slowly we see Zimbabwe putting up the shutters and closing out the world at large. Just how do people outside the country get money to their families inside the country? So now Gono is dictating to people outside the country! And he's only the Reserve Bank Governor! This tells us something about the power the powers that be believe they hold. Dillusions of grandeur I fear…

You can read the statement in its entirety here.

Finally, with all this going on in the country, it is hardly surprising that Zimbabwe cricket is in tatters.

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