Under the Copac draft constitution, which is set to be taken to a referendum in October, women MPs would be entitled to 60 uncontested seats allocated on a proportional representation basis in addition to other seats guaranteed under the 50-50 gender parity.
Biata Nyamupinga, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus, recently dismissed the proposal saying although she was a strong advocate of the 50-50 gender parity, she was against the setting-aside of 60 additional seats.
Nyamupinga, who is Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi, said studies conducted in Tanzania had shown that beneficiaries of free seats were not respected.
However, Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development deputy minister Jessie Majome on Wednesday said she supported the proposal, adding the move would increase the number of women representatives in Parliament.
Read more at News Day, published 31 August 2012.