In good times and in bad, the ladies of Heads of State and Government sure put up with a lot from corruption, political uprisings, and often other wives.
Some First Ladies use their positions to advocate for important charitable causes in their nations. Yet others are pros at looking the other way, grab everything, gallivanting; smiling for official photos and even perpetrate human rights abuses, restrict freedom of the Press and oppression of the opposition.
Hence reports that First Lady Grace Mugabe has evicted over 200 families from Manzou Estate near her multimillion dollar orphanage centre are saddening to say the least.
Regrettably these people settled on the farm some 15 years ago; so we wonder where exactly they would return. Perhaps the only option would have been to find alternative land to resettle the evictees as a matter of urgency — in fact, it’s a human rights matter. One wonders what Grace, who aspires to be Mother of the Nation, is up to, if it is not to decimate what remains of Mugabe’s tattered legacy.
For someone who recently assumed the role of powerbroker in the fractious Zanu PF party, it is clear Grace is on a destructive path for the country in her bid to control levers of power.
It must be noted that the families, who claim to have voted resoundingly for Zanu PF during the last general elections on July 31 2013, resettled on the farm in the year 2000. Besides, they have a High Court order barring government to evict them before finding alternative land. So what power does Grace wield over the laws of the country?
Grace is also a multiple farm owner with farms in Mashonaland East, Central and West and perhaps elsewhere. Sadly, she has done this with impunity and against the one-man-one farm government policy. We believe that by virtue of her status, Grace should have attained role model status and therefore be exemplary in all manner, including the way she treats her subjects and how she does her business. She must not abuse her authority in the manner that she has done.
It is regrettable that on every farm she has grabbed against government policy, she has each time evicted the occupants she assumed are lesser human beings at the start of the rainy season.
Grace last month went around soliciting for support from Zanu PF members to become Women’s League boss, giving those that cared to attend her impromptu rallies some 2kg of seed maize, and urging them to do farming, but now she has turned against the same people who voted for her rise.
Does she even care about their children given that next week schools will open? As if that is not enough, Zanu PF is advocating for her to assume the role of Vice-President and one wonders what she can be.
If Grace had grabbed the piece of land to expand her farming venture, one would have thought otherwise, but that she wants to satisfy her insatiable desire for more and create a private multimillion dollar wildlife sanctuary is amazing for a person who prefers the moniker “Mother of the Nation”.
Has Grace, 41 years Mugabe’s junior, become Zimbabwe’s “disgrace” because of her selfishness? Perhaps her lavish lifestyle and international shopping sprees could better explain who exactly she is.
We thought behind every great man is a great woman, but she who stands behind Zimbabwe’s Mugabe could be a disaster in the making. Her abuse of power surely knows no boundary, and the police are simply following her orders. How sad!