By Staff Reporter
Women rights groupings have called on the Zimbabwe Republic Police to investigate the matter involving Vice President Kembo Mohadi and his female aides alleging it may be a case of workplace sexual harassment.
The calls came after audio messages were leaked on various social media platforms, allegedly from VP Mohadi asking for sexual favors from his subordinates.
Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe has issued a statement, demanding the police to investigate the matter.
“Over the past couple of hours, news outlets have reported on emerging details of the
country’s Vice President, Kembo Mohadi being involved in ‘illicit’ relationships with
his female subordinates,” read part of the statement.
“Due to the power dynamics of the parties involved, this has compelled calls for investigations on possibilities of sexual harassment within the office of the Vice President.”
According to the coalition workplace sexual harassment issues were affecting women in both private and public sector.
If the police were to act on this high profile case, the coalition said, this would show the authorities willingness to eliminate workplace sexual harassment giving victims and survivors hope.
“Under national law, Section 24 of the Constitution is an aspirational provision of the right to work,” read part of the statement.
“In light of this provision, Section 65 then confers labour rights on every
person and refers to the right to fair and safe practices and standards.” By its definition, an act of sexual harassment constitutes a violation of the constitutionally protected right to fair labour standards and also violates the right to full and equal dignity.
The right to fair and safe labour standards is further realized under the provisions of the Labour Act [Chapter28:01] whose primary purpose is regulation of the employer-
” Under this provision, engaging in unwelcome sexually determined behaviour towards an employee, whether verbal or otherwise, such as making physical contact or advances, sexually coloured remarks or displaying pornographic material in the workplace constitutes commission of an unfair labour practice,” read part of the statement.
The ZRP twitter page is awash with calls from social media users calling for them to investigate the matter.
According to a research conducted by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) in 2020, fifty-seven percent of women reported they were ‘forced’ to offer sexual favours in exchange for jobs, medical care and when seeking places at schools for their children.
This, according to the organization was as a result of the unavailability of laws clearly criminalising or defining sexual harassment especially in the workplace.