May 22, 2024

‘Zimbabwe is ready for a female President’- Elisabeth Valerio

Clive Makumbe in Zimbabwe

Deep-rooted patriarchal and political violence fueled by the legacy of masculine nationalist politics helped liberate Zimbabwe from an equally patriarchal colonial rule. Masculine nationalism finds strong expression through Zanu-PF, the party in power for more than four decades.

Women make up less than 50% of MPs, but gender equality is a constitutional requirement. Since independence in 1980, there has been no female president. Zimbabwe’s electoral commission registered just five female voters in one of the country’s largest provinces, Mashonaland Central, last year. Women are excluded from political processes that are detrimental to society.

One of the key things to increasing women’s democratic participation is having other women at the forefront the role model effect. Women make up the shameful 14% of councilors in Zimbabwe. This lack of representation can lead to apathy because women do not see themselves as represented. Using women as examples of community leadership and investing in the next generation of female leaders will create role models in the public imagination and inspire more women to participate. It gives courage.

As 2023 gathers pace, Elisabeth Valerio, Presidential Candidate of the United Zimbabwe Alliance, has not shied away from presenting herself as a trailblazer for the forthcoming 2023 general elections scheduled for July/August.

“I will be contesting this coming elections as a Presidential candidate…Zimbabwe is ready for a female President,” she said.

The fearsome politician, who runs a viable and successful safari business in Hwange, said its her life ambition, seeing more women participating in local governance processes, particularly young women and that, women of merit should have the courage and bravado to contest for leadership positions in their respective communities.

“As UZA we are saying we want equality in the political space. Make sure women are also at the table and an equal amount of women represented in the Parliament of Zimbabwe as well as local authorities”

“The biggest challenge is finding women who have the ability to sacrifice for the people, at the same time, balancing the challenges of being the mother of the house. We want to find a way to give women the platform. We need more women voices at the table.

We also want young women to be part of the political space but would wish people to stop saying that as women, I have to have a leadership position. Its about the vision, leadership qualities and what you are bringing to Zimbabweans. That is what I want people to focus on.

Valerio sees her party formed last year forming the next government in 2023.

“I have a very successful career, I have everything I could ever want in my life, but when you build a successful career and you look at the people who live just a few kilometers away from you and you see that their life is not in order and you know it has been like that for so many years and there are no answers coming because I don’t see any potential changes to the solutions that are coming.

She added, “For me, we are in a situation where people are dying of hunger, people are dying because they do not have hospitals that provide for them, so I cannot live my wonderful life and watch the rest of Zimbabwe suffer, my concern is for the people of Zimbabwe.”

Elisabeth Valerio, leader of the United Zimbabwe Alliance,  from Zimbabwean politics and business. His mother, a descendant of Masvingo’s chieftain Mugabe, was the first woman in history to challenge the power of an African president (Robert Mugabe).

Elisabeth spent most of her childhood in the mid-1970s in her parents’ grocery store at Machipisa Shopping Center in Highfield, then a hotbed of African political movements. Elisabeth attended college in the United States and began her career as a biochemist before moving to Hwange, where she spent nearly a decade fulfilling a promise she made to her mother, who at the time was lying in a hospital bed and had asked her to take care of a herd of elephants in Dete.

In addition to promoting the tourism industry in Zimbabwe, Elisabeth dedicates her time and resources to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, creating jobs and improving access to education. quality in African communities. She founded the Leadership and Entrepreneurial Initiative for Sustainability in Africa (ELISA) supporting Africa-focused entrepreneurs through an online portal and daily summits. year will be held in Hwange. She is a frequent speaker at entrepreneurship and career-focused programs and events, and plays a key role in the career development of countless students, educators, scientists and businessmen.