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    Sunday, 3 December 2017

    Zimbabwe’s First Ladies need serious grooming


    Former First Lady Grace Mugabe has largely been blamed for the fall of her husband Robert Mugabe from power.
    This statement was said by Father Fidelis Mukonori, the key negotiator between Mugabe and the Army commanders during an interview with ZBC's Reuben Barwe this week. Father Mukonori said Grace was according to the Army commanders, the final straw in the military operation codenamed Restore Legacy.
    Maverick Zanu PF MP for Buhera South Joseph Chinotimba repeated the same sentiments and argued that Grace had behaved as if Mugabe's legacy was her own. He said that this is the reason why Mugabe was deposed as President of Zanu PF.
    The behaviour of this country's First Ladies and potential First Ladies has alarmed many people and in many cases it has left the public bowing their heads down in shame.
    As a journalist I have encountered two of Zimbabwe's First Ladies since independence several times at close range and I would like to add a third lady who is the Commander of Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga's wife to this discussion. Mary Chiwengwa warrants the kind of discussion because she is so up there in influential positions that she is not too far off from the circles of First Ladies.
    Grace's behaviour is well known and it needs no belabouring here. She has been engaged in physical violence in foreign countries much to the embarrassment of Zimbabweans. What makes her behaviour worse is that she is so barbaric as to brag about her violent exploits.
    One senior Zanu PF official Chinotimba, without mincing words said that Grace was a prostitute. His statement is carried on a video that is doing the rounds on social media.
    Chinotimba defended his position by saying that Grace started seeing President Mugabe when she was still married to Stanley Goreraza.
    Grace is also known for her foul language. She was so foul at Zanu PF youth interface rallies to the extent that some of the things she said in public are taboo in the African and Shona cultures to which she belongs.
    As a newspaper we believe that issues to do with characters of public officials must be brought into the public domain so that lessons can be drawn in order to avoid a repeat of the Grace trajectory that almost brought this country to the point of paralysis. Zimbabweans have General Chiwenga to thank for his timely and well executed intervention. 
    It is true that once again  Zimbabweans now hold their breath as Auxillia the MP of Chirumanzi-Zivagwe comes in as the new First Lady of Zimbabwe following the inauguration of her husband as President last week.
    I have personally attended three of her rallies in Mvuma and they are worrying violent traits in her. She commands, orders and instructs people around. She makes threats and humiliates adults in public and the behaviour must worry anybody.
    There are also reports that her bodyguards have been violent in the constituency and some of the cases were reported to the Police. Christopher Magwaza, a venerated war veteran and former school headmaster has been fighting human rights abuses in the constituency and has vowed not to stop.
    He has stood up to Gerald Mudzengi who is Chief Chirumanzi and is thought by many to have blessings of untouchable politicians for some of his alleged abuses of subjects. There are also quite a number of cases at the courts against Chief Chirumanzu and have been complaints that the Police and the courts are afraid to act.
    The fear in the constituency now that Auxilia is the First Lady is that many cases against Chief Chirumanzu would be swept under the carpet but that would be for Auxillia to dig her own political grave in the constituency as dozens of headmen have signed petitions against the traditional leader.
    Magwaza has vowed to fight lawlessness and stand by the weak as long as it is necessary.
    However, Auxillia seems to have taken a back seat since her husband's appointment a week ago. One only hopes it will remain like that. In fact, she must also take heed of a lot of advice given to her through the social media where people were advising her not to become another Grace Mugabe.
    Then there is Mary Chiwenga. She may not be a First Lady but who knows one day she may become one.
    Her dances to Jah Prayza's Kutonga Kwaro during the inauguration of Mnangagwa at the National Sports Stadium shocked many.  She appears in a video lost in the music and dancing while standing behind her seated husband and pointing at Chiwenga each time the music referred to; kutonga kwaro gamba implying that Chiwenga was the hero referred to in Jah Prayzah's song.
    Indeed that dance was a party or bar dance.
    This was a serious national event where ladies of the country's leaders needed to be seated decently and attentively follow procedures.
    Zimbabwe has suffered immensely because of a loose First Lady. No First Lady should be allowed to get the country off the rails ever again.
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