By Petina Gappah
“Interrupting my social media break to say how grateful I am to MDC members and their leaders and fellow travelling analysts for their hideous abuse and hounding of Priscilla Chigumba. You have proved some of us right about who you are and what you stand for. For years, some of us have been talking about the sexism and misogyny of the MDC.
In fact, some of us ran screaming from Harvest house once we understood that for some of you Harvest House top shatas, getting a leg over was the primary reason you got up in the morning. We felt we had to leave because ultimately, we were there to work, not to be hit on by married men with serious capacity in the stomach area, we were there to talk about policy, not to be leched over by married men whose idea of subtlety pakunyenga is to leer “hesi kani” while oggling our breasts and legs.
We know who you are, vana manyengavana. We know many of you “top academics” to be married men who harass your students at universities at home and abroad, married men who harass your female employees and colleagues, married male pastors who harass congregants, married men who hit on your maids, on your wives’ sisters, on anything female that moves. Married men who, if necessary force themselves on women. Heck, you even made a rapist a top shata in the alliance leadership.
We know that at the height of the AIDS pandemic was a vanguard of you married men. We know how you have laid waste lives and marriages. We know how you have squandered donor money meant to fight democracy on small houses and cheap thrills.We know how you have gone through women. That is, when you are not having secret homosexual relations with each other.
We know these things about you. But we do not salivate over it all as you do when it comes to women.
You have a problem with any woman who raises her head above the parapet. I have been keeping track and have counted an incredible number of women who have been called hure in public or on social media accounts of the MDC leadership and their fellow-travelling analysts. Basically, any woman who has not slavishly immolated herself at the altar of the Varume Vanomwe veMDC Alliance has been called a hure. And the saintly leadership of the democracy movement has been abetting this abuse.
I guess it was always too much to expect inclusivity from a “democratic movement” led by Varume Vanomwe nezvitumbu zvavo that are only smaller than their egos.
Tibvirei pano nekuko varume vemuMDC. Hamuna kana platform yekabox kematomatisi to stand on and start talking about mahure. The only thing that saves you is that our patriarchal, misogynist culture has a language geared at policing the sexual behaviour of women.
There is no equivalent for a man. Yes, women do say murimbwa. But see, I would never call you dogs because I love dogs. Because they have a morality that is cleaner than yours.
But it is true, what the ancestors said. When people show you who they are, believe them.