On a background of 50 – 50 proportional representation proposed by the SADC protocol, spotlight is on the major political parties in Zimbabwe.
At what expense will the parties honour the quota system remains the big question?
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. The protocol calls for a 50 – 50 gender representation by 2015.
While the will to fulfil that quota could be there, the practicality of the matter at a time political parties badly need victory has become a major concern.
What is certainly sure is that the next elections to be held in Zimbabwe will be the most crucial in the countryâ€™s political history.
Observers say those polls will depend more on the strength of candidates than anything else. Women Caucus in Parliament Chairperson Cde Beatrice Nyamupinga says the parties should honour the proposed quota system.
The big question is obviously on how the parties will negotiate their way around this 50-50 obligation.
While implementation might not be a problem there seems to be common agreement among the three political parties that while the quota system is the way to finality, at the moment their approach is cautious.
The parties will be treading on soft grounds as they seek to draw a line in filling quotas for the sake of duty against the reality where male candidates have always come out strongly against their female counterparts.
With the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development calling for proportional representation of women and men in politics by 2015 focus will be on how the three major political parties in Zimbabwe will implement this.
The outstanding questions will be; will the political parties heed the call even when they risk losing constituencies should they implement the initiative?
Is the political situation on the ground ripe for the 50 – 50 protocol implementation?
At what political cost will the 50 – 50 proportional representation be implemented?