I stand for the good of all Mrehwa Ward 9 Residents – Pauline Sixpence
Aspiring Mrewa Rural District Council (MRDC) candidate, Pauline Sixpence is leaving nothing to chance. She is traversing her entire Ward, encouraging people to go and vote during the 30 July harmonised elections. This will be her second time to run for public office.Sixpence, a member of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, first contested in the 2013 elections. Although she lost in her initial attempt, she is convinced that her time is now. She says she learnt a lot from her first attempt.”I benefited from the workshops I attended which were conducted by the Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) Zimbabwe. These workshops enhanced my understanding of the law and rights of women as stated in the Constitution of Zimbabwe,’ said Sixpence during an interview in Mrewa recently.
Inspired by what she learnt, Sixpence says she is now a confident and knowledgeable candidate, ready to assume the role of Ward Councillor. ‘My door to door campaigns are now effective. I can now express myself well and answer questions convincingly,” Sixpence said. Her focus is on developmental projects so as to improve the quality of life particularly among women and girls in her community. She mentioned, in particular, the urgency of improvements on health delivery services, schools because people in her Ward travel long distances for treatment and schooling. Further, she emphasised the need for a proper road network for easy transportation of agricultural produce by farmers in the district.
A mother of five children, born in Kadoma and later relocated to Mrehwa, the 39 year old Sixpence is married to a husband who is also active in politics. She joined the MDC in 2001 after she attended Workers’ Day commemorations held in Zimbabwe Grounds, Highfield in Harare. Sixpence has occupied various party positions, initially as a youth leader and is the current ward chairperson.’I became an MDC member in 2001, a period when being in opposition politics was fearful. What I went through made me a strong and determined politician you see today. I am now, confident to campaign, helping improve the country’s economy which has not been performing well for a long time now.”’
Sixpence deems it her responsibility to encourage her fellow women to be courageous in the fight to improve their livelihoods. “’We have to stand up and work for our betterment. There are no more jobs as companies have closed. It is our duty, especially us women in rural areas, to engage in self-help projects,” said the vivacious Sixpence.The Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for the equal opportunities of both men and women as specified in section 80 (1) that “Every woman has full and equal dignity of the person with men and this includes equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities.”
She acknowledges that women have been bearing the brunt of a non-performing economy, as their husbands are not working and bringing any form of income hence women have to find means to fend for their families.“We have been struggling to educate our children and most of them who have finished their Ordinary Level are sitting at home,” she said. As a woman I feel we have been working so hard to keep the communities intact as such we should be on the forefront and demanding space in decision making in our communities.Based on the feedback she is receiving throughout the Ward, Sixpence, who says she stands for the good of all residents of the Ward, is convinced of winning the Mrewa Rural District Council Ward 9 seat.