Kniting Women Spread MDC.Message

Knitting Women Spread MDC Message


The Women's Assembly of the MDC (Tsvangirai) has assumed a frontline role in the opposition party's attempt to defeat President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe's watershed March 29 general election.

Intimidatory tactics by pro-Mugabe supporters and the police as well as draconian security laws restricting rallies and anti-government demonstrations have made orthodox electioneering virtually impossible in much of Zimbabwe.

In response, the MDC women’s alliance has a launched an innovative campaign strategy based on informal meetings of women over cups of tea and bowls of sadza.

Even local knitting groups, a traditional meeting place for rural Zimbabwean women, are being used to spread the MDC’s message and mobilise voters.

But Mugabe’s loathsome spy agency, the CIO, has caught wind of this innovative campaign and last week arrested the MDC official at its heart, parliamentary candidate for Bulawayo East, Thabitha Khumalo, also MDC deputy secretary for information and publicity.

The Zimbabwean on Sunday heard that the CIO has placed under strict surveillance the suspected architects of the strategy – Women’s Assembly chairperson Theresa Makone, her deputy Enna Chitsa, organizing secretary Lynette Karenyi-Kore, her deputy Josephine Chitembwe, secretary-general Evelyn Masaiti and deputy Margaret Matienga, spokesperson Sibusisiwe Masara-Budha and treasurer Spiwe Banda.

MDC officials have reported a boom in female volunteers, eager to support the initiative.

One activist told her colleagues: Go out and tell your friends and your neighbours that if they don’t vote for the MDC this month they are condemning their children to a life not worth living. Let us have sugar on our table. If the kitchen is not right then there is nothing we can do.

Under Mugabe’s increasingly paranoid regime however, even a meeting of middle-aged women is in danger of being viewed as a threat to the state.

Women are going to be the most effective campaigners in this election, said Makone.

Post published in: News

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