Zimbabwe: Youth Groups Blast Chamisa Over Coventry Remarks

President Emmerson Mnangagwa flanked by Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi congratulates Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, after taking her oath of office at State House.
11 September 2018

Youth associations registered under the Zimbabwe Youth Council have blasted MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa over what they termed derogatory and sexist remarks aimed at new Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry.

Chamisa torched a storm over the weekend when he appeared to demean Coventry referring to her using a word deemed as vulgar by a larger section of society, while addressing a rally in Chitungwiza over the weekend.

"We note with great concern the speech by Mr Chamisa over the weekend, a speech which was riddled with unfortunate and seditious remarks that cannot go without a word of reprimand," said Primrose Miga, Executive Chairperson of Young Miners Foundation.

"As organisations that represent the youth, we feel the sexist, racial and vulgar pronouncements made by Mr Chamisa are not only ingenious but also dissipated and unwelcome," she further stated.

However, asked on whether the meeting had the blessing of the newly appointed Minister, the grouping denied having consulted her, further cementing the notion that they were playing politics despite urging the opposition leader to desist from politicking.

Meanwhile, the MDC-USA Presidential Representative's Office has thrown its weight behind Chamisa saying his statement was not inflammatory.

"There is need for a definitive response to the discrediting social media remarks to President Nelson Chamisa's recent speech. Shona is not the only language with words that bear more than one meaning. No matter how well-meaning, some interpretations will confirm an individual's own bias.

"We find it deeply disturbing and stand by President Nelson Chamisa.

"In Zimbabwe, we may diverge in opinions, but opinions should be respected. Including our President's opinion. We applaud him for venturing into uncharted waters and his continued use of humour in speeches to convey his message to party supporters. An excellent speaking skill. With support from party followers, he will make headway," reads part of the statement.

Coventry has, however, remained mum over the issue.

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