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Backers of Zimbabwe Domestic Violence Legislation Upbeat On Passage


Domestic violence legislation long stalled in the Zimbabwean parliament could win passage within a few weeks following the amendment of some controversial clauses, according to one opposition member of Harare's lower house said Wednesday.

Mufakose Paurina Gwanyanya-Mpariwa, a member for the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai, said that despite the controversy created by the legislation, most parliamentarians - men included - support the bill.

But there are significant pockets of resistance from traditionalists who argue that the legislation would interpose state power into a domain where it does not belong.

A member of Gwanyana-Mpariwa's own party, Harare MP Timothy Mubhawu, sparked a demonstration this week by women's organizations when he declared in the course of debate that equality between men and women went against God's will. Tsvangirai personally assured the women that Mubhawu did not reflect party policy.

Sources privy to parliamentary debates added that some chiefs and other traditional leaders, who tend to back the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, had made similar remarks that did not receive much publicity in the state-run media.

Gwanyanya-Mpariwa told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the bill faces only a few hurdles before it can be signed by President Robert Mugabe - who has been accommodating to his own party's women's wing.

More reports From VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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