‘I hear you on female VP’

President Mugabe has reaffirmed his commitment to women’s empowerment, amid calls for one of Zanu-PF’s Vice-Presidents to be a female.

The President made the remarks at yesterday’s 9th Presidential Youth Interface Meeting at Bulawayo’s White City Stadium.

Currently, there is a lobby for an amendment of the ruling party’s constitution to reserve a VP post for a woman, and President Mugabe has previously indicated that this can be done by either reconstituting the current Presidium or creating a third deputy’s office.

Yesterday he said, “… kumadzimai, chichemo chenyu tiri kuchinzwa, tanga tichiti tonochizadzisa ku Congress. Asi tinoda madzimai, kuti madzimai vave nemufaro kuti hurongwa hwedu huri kucherechedzwa.

“Our belief in gender yatakagara tinayo, yatakataura, yatinotaura zvakare taenda kuAfrican Union, kuti isu tine gender principle, kuti madzimai edu vave pamwe chete nesu varume. takavasimudzira tichibva kufundo. we have raised the stature of our women.”

President Mugabe said archaic beliefs had partly contributed to women’s marginalisation.

“Whereas yesterday our grandparents did not see any value in educating women, we have changed that; we see immense value in educating the girl child,” he said.

“So we have them now in our secondary institutions, together there are slightly more women, more girls than boys, which is good for a change.

“So we would want the girls to go on and on and all that defeatism that we had earlier on, that girls cannot do science.

“The girl child is as good, intellectually capacitated as the boy child, we now have a lot of doctors, lots of women who are doctors, engineers as it were and we want them to come up.”

President Mugabe said he had noted with concern the absence of female engineers as he capped graduates at the National University of science and Technology last Friday.

“I want to see engineers, people who can mechanically produce the products we need for agriculture, even construct an aircraft,” said President Mugabe.

“Ndozvatiri kuda, practical application of your engineering education, kwete yekunonyora examination muchipasa theory. No, we want the application of theory to practice.

“So our universities must be alert. We need them (students) to go to institutions where there is practical application of engineering disciplines and not the theoretical aspects we have pursued in the past.”

President Mugabe praised the Harare Institute of Technology for its bias towards practical subjects.

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