Non-constituency legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga last week accused The Herald and its reporter Zvamaida Murwira of being sexist after he misrepresented what she had said in Parliament.
She also said The Herald and its reporter must be charged with contempt of Parliament.
For the benefit of our readers, we reproduce below the speech by Misihairabwi -Mushonga which caused the stir . She delivered it on 31 January.
HON. MISIHAIRABWI-MUSHONGA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I stood up to also debate on the Budget that was presented by Hon. Minister Chinamasa. Mr. Speaker, for my introduction, I want to start with the positive. I think it is always important to start with the positive. The positive that I found in this budget was obviously the issue around sanitary wear. I just want to thank the Hon. Minister, after all these years begging him to do something about sanitary wear; we see that he actually did something about it.
However, I want to raise two things that I learnt whilst engaging with the Hon. Minister and trying to get the sanitary wear coming. I think it is important for us as Members of Parliament to begin to think about the strategies of trying to get the Minister to do certain things. For a long time, the Hon. Minister refused to discuss sanitary wear because he felt menstrual issues were not right issues to discuss in public. He introduced me to a woman whom I want to celebrate today, Ms. Mhini. She works in Hon. Minister Chinamasa’s Office. It took her two days for her to do what we have been asking the Hon. Minister to do for many years. Basically, she called the producers of sanitary wear to a meeting, to which I attended, discussed with them why sanitary wear was expensive and before I knew it, we agreed that we were not going to have the materials used to produce sanitary wear carry import duty. Thankfully, today I had to use sanitary pads, so I went and bought them.
The reason why I am saying so is that we need to begin to change and see what will happen between today, if the Budget is passed on sanitary wear and the next two months. This is because those who are producing sanitary wear are going to import those materials free of duty, which means the price of sanitary wear will go down. If it does not go down, the pressure is no longer on the Minister of Finance and Economic Development; it is on the producers of sanitary wear. What we then expect the Hon. Minister to do is that, if sanitary wear price go down, it means the next Budget, the Minister will be able to provide a budget for free sanitary wear for the young girls in school today. It will also mean that we will have more companies coming in to produce sanitary wear.
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