Politics of Engagement - Inclusiveness and Elusiveness of Government
I am not sure what will move the politicians engaged in our inclusive Zimbabwean government to respond to issues. Since the advent of our new political dispensation this year, I have attended a few public gatherings (the latest one last Friday) where politicians, particularly cabinet ministers, have been lamenting the fact that citizens, particularly women, are not seeking audience with them. They have been been exhorting women to take advantage of the new inclusive government and bring up issues.
Well, for one thing they are busy people. I do not want to keep walking to and waiting at their offices for an audience, as I am bound to walk long distances, and wait long hours. I am also busy, working for my family's upkeep, trying to find basics such as safe water and fuel so that the family gets by each day. And this is because the supply of safe water and power for cooking, which a few years ago was available in my home, have almost come to zero. Busy as I know they are, the least I can expect from them is to take time to read their e-mails and at least acknowledge receipt. I have written to two cabinet ministers (three weeks ago) and I have not even had an acknowledgement of receipt.
One female cabinet minister last month said she wondered where the women were, as there are so many men bringing issues to the office. But now I know, and I want to tell her that those men have left at home some woman who is fetching water and firewood, doing his laundry and cooking, and a thousand and one other things to ensure the home runs smoothlly and the female is well-catered for.
I am not giving up. I am writing to all the female cabinet ministers to set aside days in each month, and publicise the fact widely, that are reserved for audience with women only. I will also ask they convince their male counterparts to do the same. Another wish is that they direct that on those days only men should fetch water and firewood, and cook for and clean homes for their families. Wishful thinking...? Maybe. But I am going to let my voice be heard, and the situation needs a bit of madness. Maybe they will wake up, and we can start talking of an inclusive, rather than elusive, government prevailing in Zimbabwe