Women MPs from the opposition camp announced yesterday to quit their Tanzania Women Parliamentary Group (TWPG) after they were not satisfied with measures taken after their humiliation in the House.
They said in a press statement release signed by Ms Halima Mdee (Kawe-Chadema) that they questioned the logic of their membership to the group, particularly after some of the TWPG leaders were seen to cheer up “when we were being humiliated in the House last week”.
The women MPs were incensed after Ulanga East MP Goodluck Mlinga uttered in the assembly what was considered to be abusive language and mockery against them. The CCM lawmaker had been quoted saying that the most important qualification for Chadema members to win special seats positions was to be called ‘baby,’ a now famous English word used by people in sexual relationship, suggesting they got appointed to the special seat positions in return for sexual favours.
“That did not only humiliate Chadema women MPs but also lowered the dignity of women as a whole,” they said in the statement
. They observed that despite their efforts to demand that Mr Mlinga retract his statement, the Deputy Speaker, Dr Tulia Ackson, ignored them, only ordering the withdrawal of the words from the Hansard, “which is contrary to House standing orders,” they said. The lawmakers said they were disappointed when they saw their fellow TWPG members from the ruling CCM cheering up.
TWPG Chairperson Margaret Sitta condemned the incident on Monday this week in a private motion in the House.
She said they had reflected on the incident, which happened last Thursday and decided they must pronounce their position even after the deputy speaker had instructed that the words be withdrawn from the Hansard and cautioned lawmakers to desist from using such words.
“We strongly condemn and do not agree with the continuing habit of some MPs to use abusive language, mockery, contempt and humiliation of women in and outside the House,” she said