Abigail Damasane
Abigail Sipambekile Damasane born on 27 May 1952 is a Zimbabwean politician who is easily recognised with her unique traditional dressing. She was elected to be the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Matebeleland South Constituency after the July 2013 elections though she was ousted from the Women's League in November 2014. She is a staunch member of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF)

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Political career

Matebeleland South has been Damasane's sphere of influence since independence. In 2001, she was appointed to serve within the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture as the Cultural Officer.[1] Whilst serving within the Ministry of Education, Damasane was part of the government's team that took turns to man the country's pavilion during the Hanover Expo held in 2001 in Germany.[1] She was appointed to organise and manage the country's cultural programme during the Expo. She did her duty but was not paid her dues. In 2005, Damasane demanded US$14 309 from ZimTrade which was mandated to oversee the Expo.[1] ZimTrade had to comply after the Ministry of Industry intervened to solve the matter.[1]

In 2004, she was elected as a non-constituency MP.[1] In September 2013, when Robert Mugabe announced his cabinet after his controversial re-election after the July 2013 elections in which Mugabe awarded his loyal sons and daughter, Damasane was appointed to be the Deputy Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Development Community and Oppah Muchinguri was appointed to be the Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Development Community.[2] Despite being appointed as the Deputy Minister, Mugabe was however criticised for breaching terms of the approved 2013 Constitution's Chapter Two under National Objectives Sections 17 and 104 (4)which applauded the redress of gender imbalances within the country.[2] She was also on the list of officials subject to travel bans and asset freezes by the European Union though she was later removed from the list.[3]

As the preparations for the 6th ZANU PF People's Congress held in December 2014 were under way, Damasane was appointed as the Chairperson of the Provincial Congress Coordinating Committee for Matebeleland South.[4] She was however accused of blocking attempts by war veterans during a meeting in Matebeleland South who were pushing the motion of ousting Andrew Langa who was the then Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture who was found guilty of fanning factionalism within the party and side-lining with the Joice Mujuru faction which was believed to be organising to assassinate Mugabe.[4] Damasane defended her stance stating that, she was only tasked to announce the committee and sub-committees who were to lead the preparations of the party's December Congress. She however suggested that, if the war veterans were so eager to deal with Langa, they were supposed report the matter to the Provincial Secretary for Information, Malachi Nkomo.[4]

Her Ouster

In November 2014, Damasane was booted out of the ZANU PF Women's League after serving more than ten years as an executive member within the League.[5] By the time of her ouster, she was the Secretary for Legal Affairs. She was found guilty of abuse of office as well as fanning factionalism within the party.

Trivia

Damasane stole the show at the 2013 Miss Universities event held at Ochi City when she showed her moves.[6] She was also one of the numerous ZANU PF officials who graduated during the 2014 University of Zimbabwe graduation ceremony.[7]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Honourable Abigail Damasane, Zoom Info:,retrieved:19 December 2014"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lulu Brenda Harris, Mugabe dresses down gender balance in cabinet selection, Radio Dialogue, published:11 Sep 2013,retrieved:19 December 2014"
  3. Esther Gomo, List of people removed from EU sanctions, Nehanda Radio, published:16 Feb 2011,retrieved:19 December 2014"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Nduduzo Tshuma and Marvelous Moyo, Andrew Langa kicked out, Chronicle, published:11 Nov 2014,retrieved:19 December 2014"
  5. Olivia Muchena, 4 others ousted, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, published:28 Nov 2014,retrieved:19 December 2014"
  6. Brenda Phiri, Damasane steals the show at Miss Universities, The Herald, published:16 Oct 2013,retrieved:19 December 2014"
  7. ZANU PF PROMISED 2MILLION ‘GHOST’ JOBS , NOW MUGABE CAPS 3 274 UZ GRADUANDS: MARVELLOUS!, Sunrise Zimbabwe, published:12 Sep 2014,retrieved:19 December 2014"