Grace should be mother of peace

HARARE - It is an uncontroversial truism that people in high positions wield influence on the behaviour of members of society who look up to them.

For a long time, this country experienced a deadly wave of inter-party violence.

The reason for this is that, in the past, President Mugabe never came out clearly against it.

On occasions, he would boast about possessing “degrees” in violence, threaten the use of his chibhakera (fist) and so on.

While Mugabe may not have directly exhorted his supporters to attack opponents, these metaphors of violence were unhelpful.

The fact that Mugabe would then later preach peace only left a mixed message with a ring of insincerity.

Admittedly, it would appear that inter-party violence has diminished.

What has emerged in the aftermath of the last election, instead, is intra-party succession-related violence in both main political parties.

Violence should be condemned, no matter the cause or its political location. Its instigators too should also be reproached.

Addressing party youths gathered at her orphanage in Mazowe following her nomination to become the Women’s League boss, Mugabe’s wife, Grace, sounded overly-excited at her ascendancy into politics.

She wanted to appear fearless in order to impress her captive audience.

In trying to portray herself as intrepid, she resorted to metaphors of violence, describing herself as a monya (bouncer) who could also use chibhakera.

She went on to attack Zanu PF MP Fortune Chasi for allegedly inhibiting her from acquiring more land.

A few issues are quite problematic here.

Firstly, for a woman raising impressionable orphans, it is rather unedifying to deploy metaphors of violence.

Grace’s violence, however, has not just been metaphorical.

You will also recall that in an interview with Dali Tambo last year, Grace gloated about thumping a British photographer outside a five-star hotel in Hong Kong five years ago: “I started beating him. He was pleading with me to get the camera, please, I didn’t answer so I kept on punching him.”

Grace’s speech was at her Mazowe orphanage. It is unbefitting a “mother” to imply that the fist resolves matters — these metaphors have effect on susceptible minds.

It is even worse to celebrate or boast about it, no matter the circumstances in which the violence was exacted.

Secondly, why was it necessary to attack an MP and member of her husband’s government in public?

Grace is married to the most powerful man in the land. It is inconceivable that Chasi would not have turned down an invitation to resolve their differences in private.

It seems a trend for the so-called First Family to deprecate government officials in public.

Not so long ago, Mugabe launched a surprise attack on Jonathan Moyo at the funeral of Nathan Shamuyarira. Yet the two could also have resolved government matters privately.

Lastly, what does Grace think the effect of her ireful remarks on Chasi in front of Zanu PF youths would have?

The record of these youths is known.

Grace knows that when they encounter Chasi, they are not going to give him warm hugs and invite him for a stroll in the rose garden.

Her remarks would, thus, border on incitement. The youths were reported to have immediately bayed “for Chasi’s blood.”

You have to feel, if not fear, for Chasi — recently he was criticised for stating   an indisputable fact that the last elections were imperfect.

Now, he risks being physically attacked for allegedly blocking Grace’s expansionist agenda.

Society has historically reposed faith in First Ladies to counteract their ruling husbands’ excesses. 

Ideally, Grace should be in the forefront of preaching peace.

Those she will lead should, ideally, be youths, women and mothers of peace.

However, her record so far suggests she wants to be a bouncer; she has signed up to her husband’s philosophy of the fist.

It is most disconcerting when, at the apex of society, the First Family recklessly uses metaphors of violence.

Comments (7)

She should be a whole lot of other things too. She learned all this from her husband who uses unstatesmanlike language frequently. She is an evil person, as are the rest of her ilk.

mukwerekwere - 12 August 2014

Peace has never been&will never be in Grace's heart.Remember she dumped her first husband to take away someone's husband & now claims she was a 2nd wife.I don't see how such a heartless person can preach peace.After all,how on earth can a divorcee&2nd wife be A FIRST LADY?? This is a big SCANDAL!

bvongodzamuto - 13 August 2014

Forget about Grace being a mother of peace.

MOTOWOGA - 13 August 2014

She sets a very bad example. I pity the orphaned kids she is raising.

pru - 13 August 2014

They have nothing to learn from her those kids - kutora boss semurume, ari murume wemumwe furi? then wotokudza zvezvibhakera? Haiwawo

zozo - 13 August 2014

As Mother of Peace, Amai Mugabe has dedicated her life to the children and to the Party. She has been very successful in gaining global donations from outside Zimbabwe to support the Party and the Party supported children's homes throughout the country, including some of the largest. There is even a children's home named Mother of Peace. The Party and Women's League and the land and resources granted have been the backbone for sustaining children's homes. With resources already catered, costs are not an issue. Children's homes are able to operate in a stable way with the land and resources assured and this benefits the children. The fundraising enterprise is a soft way to connect with the outside donors who wish to show support for the Party and children placed and cared for as custodians of the State. It provides a safe and easy conduit for donors from outside the country to bring in money to engage with the Party and other social and faith sectors. Donors seem comfortable with the arrangement and it does not attract negative attention. Further, there is little chance that the home country of the donor will ever discover or be able to trace the donations, especially if made in cash. A wise donor will check on their own to determine the legitimacy of the organisations and their accountability when it comes to giving freely and seeing a long history of credible independent certified audits to support the need for the fundraising.

Bright - 17 August 2014

As Mother of Peace, Amai Mugabe has dedicated her life to the children and to the Party. She has been very successful in gaining global donations from outside Zimbabwe to support the Party and the Party supported children's homes throughout the country, including some of the largest. There is even a children's home named Mother of Peace. The Party and Women's League and the land and resources granted have been the backbone for sustaining children's homes. With resources already catered, costs are not an issue. Children's homes are able to operate in a stable way with the land and resources assured and this benefits the children. The fundraising enterprise is a soft way to connect with the outside donors who wish to show support for the Party and children placed and cared for as custodians of the State. It provides a safe and easy conduit for donors from outside the country to bring in money to engage with the Party and other social and faith sectors. Donors seem comfortable with the arrangement and it does not attract negative attention. Further, there is little chance that the home country of the donor will ever discover or be able to trace the donations, especially if made in cash. A wise donor will check on their own to determine the legitimacy of the organisations and their accountability when it comes to giving freely and seeing a long history of credible independent certified audits to support the need for the fundraising.

Bright - 17 August 2014

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