Women arise, for real!

HARARE - Every time I have met powerful women I have been reminded of my mother — a powerful woman, who almost shaped my life from birth to 20.

The women I refer to are Indira Gandhi of India and Margaret Thatcher of Britain.

Gandhi is unforgettable for her good looks, Thatcher for the opposite — if that is not offensive to the sensitive British.

I met the then Indian prime minister at a conference of the Commonwealth in New Delhi.

Thatcher I met in 1979 in Lusaka, as she attended a conference which culminated in the end of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, and the creation of Zimbabwe.

Both women have since passed on, but their performances as leaders of their countries remain embedded in the history of the world.

I am not suggesting that our future Zimbabwean women politicians formulate their political careers around those of these two.

They ought to be original, carve out their own, genuinely fresh type of career path.

I have chosen this subject in view of the emerging trend in Zimbabwe of women getting on the political scene with something of a bang.

I refer here to Amai Grace Mugabe. Her arrival has been spectacular, if not sensational. Years ago, when I worked for Zimbabwe Newspapers on contract as a sub-editor, I received on my Facebook page an invitation to be friends with “Grace Mugabe”.

I looked at it, intently, for a while. Someone had to be making fun of me. I had never been in touch, in any shape or form, with the President’s wife.

The exception was, of course, by remote control. When I was editor of The Sunday Gazette — eons ago, it now seems — we landed into trouble with a story referring to one of her children with her former husband.

The relatives demanded the child be sent to their family and not stay at State House with the Mugabes.

In very good faith, we published the story and all hell broke loose.

I lost my job into the bargain. But I have never held a grudge against anyone for what some people might have called my own “moment of madness”.

I have always wished her good fortune. Hers is almost a Cinderella tale, isn’t it? Now, she is gunning for the biggest prize — a political post which could make even Cinderella weep with envy.

What I really desire for any of our women venturing into these murky waters of politics, is a strong desire to be taken seriously — by both their enemies and their supporters.

Indira Gandhi and Margaret Thatcher proved they could be taken seriously. They took as much from their political enemies as was dished out to them, never flinching.

Indira Gandhi was assassinated by a cowardly enemy. After failing to unseat her through the conventional method of a free and fair election, the enemy chose murder, as cowardly an alternative as would be chosen by a spineless combatant who dare not show the courage of one who believes in their own strength and spirit.

What I urge our women to do is to consider, first and foremost, the people of Zimbabwe, men, women and children.

Being a leader, in any capacity, behoves them to consider those as their No.1 concern.

Politics is without meaning when anything, other than the people, is at the centre of every activity remotely related to politics.

We now know that, right now, our politicians have little time for men, women and children. Their concern is wealth. They all richly deserve to be drowned in their filthy lucre.

Comments (3)

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What the hell is this???

Bambo - 10 October 2014

Sorry Bill but you have let yourself down with this poorly written article. Write for your readers not yourself!

saundy - 11 October 2014

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