Political leadership, a gender scorecard

Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri holds one of the most powerful Cabinet posts

By Abigail Gamanya

The Zimbabwe general elections have come and gone. Almost all key government positions have been filled and there is now enough data to assess where the country stands on the advancement of women in political governance, public administration and the general struggle for gender equality.

This summary of the facts and figures from the July 30 2018 presidential, parliamentary and council elections shows Zimbabwe still falls significantly short of the targeted 50/50 ratio with men in the representation of women in governance structures at both national and local government levels.

A review of these elections also shows that both the media and women have some serious work to do in using the media as a platform for the promotion of political, economic and social rights.

That work includes the accommodation of diverse voices and views, skilful communication and the recognition of the role of women in democracy and development in a world in which the media has increasingly become a big factor.

What does the gender scorecard say at the moment?

The presidency:

The Head of State President and his two deputies are men.

Cabinet ministers:             

Male –             16

Female –        5

Ministers of state in the Vice Presidents’ Offices:

One male and one female

Deputy ministers:

Male           – 13

Female       – 2

Provincial ministers:

Male – four

Female – five

NOTE: Minister for Harare Metropolitan still to be appointed.

Parliamentary leadership

Senate President Mabel Chinomona/ZIMPAPERS

National Assembly:

Speaker of the National Assembly (Jacob Mudenda) –                    Male

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly (Tsitsi Gezi) –                    Female

Chief Whip of the governing ZANU PF Party (Pupurai Togarepi) –     Male

ZANU PF Deputy Chief Whip (Obedingwa Mguni)  – Male

Chief Whip of the opposition MDC Alliance (Prosper Mutseyami) Male                      

MDC Alliance Deputy Chief Whip (Nomathemba Ndlovu)                   Female

The Senate:

President of the Senate (Mabel Chinomona)                                            Female

Deputy President of the Senate (Mike Nyambuya)                                  Male

Chief Whip of the governing ZANU PF Party –

ZANU PF Deputy Chief Whip (Tsitsi Muzenda)                                          Female

Chief Whip of the main opposition MDC Alliance (Lilian Timveos)     Female

MDC Alliance Deputy Chief Whip (Herbert Sinampande)                        Male

Opposition Chief Whip in the Senate, Lillian Timveos

Mayors of 12 major towns:

Angeline Kasipo of Kwekwe is the only female mayor out of 12 mayors who preside over Council affairs in Zimbabwe’s major towns.

Harare                                       Herbert Gomba

Bulawayo                                   Solomon Mguni

Gweru                                        Josiah Makombe

Mutare                                       Blessing Tandi

Kwekwe                                     Angeline Kasipo

Masvingo                                   Collins Maboke

Kadoma                                     Action Nyamukondiwa

Chitungwiza                              Gift Tsverere

Chinhoyi                                    Dyke Makumbi

Bindura                                      Carlos Tokyo

Gwanda                                      Jastone Mazhale

Victoria Falls                              Somvelo Dhlamini

Kwekwe’s first female mayor, Angeline Kasipo


While the number of women currently in Zimbabwe’s governing structures compares reasonably well with other countries in the Southern African region and on the African continent, they remain way off the target of the 50/50 ratio with men.

The programme towards gender equality requires a national effort by almost sections of Zimbabwe, including a media that highlights the critical issues at stake and the work that must be done.

AUTHOR: Abigail Gamanya is the director of Gender Media Connect (GMC), an organisation promoting the rights of women in the media and use of the media by women.



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