Rantings of a First Lady

HARARE - Characters: Dr. Gire -Cde. Oppah - Cheering supporters

[A rally in Bulawayo]
FIRST LADY (Rebuking women who walked out on her):
You are disorganised Bulawayo. This is disrespectful. We are about to finish. Sit down. Where are those women going? Anyone who doesn’t sit down will not receive the farming inputs I brought. If you stand up while I am speaking, you are inferring that I am speaking nonsense.

[A rally in Mashonaland Central]
The faction leader is moving around saying Mai Mugabe has money, yet the (same) person has diamond mines and has about 10 percent shares in almost every company. That is greed. That is corruption, yet the person goes around saying a lot of rubbish about Amai Mugabe.
That is why I am saying to Baba (Mugabe), if he does not dump the person in the street to be devoured by the dogs, we will do it ourselves

(Cheering from the crowd)

FIRST LADY: (on foreign female journalist, Heidi Holland who committed suicide after writing a book titled Dinner with Mugabe which criticised the First Family): There is a woman who wrote a book saying Mugabe’s wife is a dreadful person. I simply took that book and prayed to God, (saying) if this is true, reprimand me, but if they are lies, deal with this person. The woman killed herself as a result.

[A rally at a farm belonging to the First Lady in Mazowe where she reveals that she is keen to replace her husband as President)
Pamberi neZanu PF
THE CROWD: Pamberi
FIRST LADY (looking visibly angry): Pane ma agents avo (Mai Mujuru) akaita saana Kaukonde. Manje Kaukonde ndakamumaka big time. Ndakataura inini zvedemon kuti rakatanga kuma Mashonaland Central saka iko kaye Kaukonde ndiko kane rimwe rakakatakura muchikaona kachimisa tsinga kudaro. (We have her sidekicks like Kaukonde, I will deal with Kaukonde, he is demonic, the demons started in Mashonaland Central and Kaukonde is evil).

(The crowd roars in approval)

Manje richabuda demon iroro nokuti iye Kaukonde uya ndiye anenge achishandiswa achifonera varungu vanzwa nhamo. (Kaukonde is being used but we will remove the demon)

(Ululation and clapping from the crowd)

Did you know that Mai Mujuru holds 10 percent shareholding in the Daily News? That is why you see the newspaper writes negatively about Grace Mugabe everyday.


Zimbabweans were beseeched by images of the first lady Grace Mugabe, (Dr Gire) in motion as she addressed the nation in her so-called thank you rallies or rather meet the people gatherings.

Most citizens never had the chance of witnessing Dr Gire talk for hours without a prepared speech.

In the paragraphs above, the Daily News on Sunday gleaned some memorable quotes from Dr Gire’s speeches around the country. Most of these were bizarre and at the same time comic in their delivery.

Her choice of words was worrisome for a first lady and she elicited outright laughter in some instances. She resorted to street lingo in some cases raising questions on the diction of a first lady. When she said “Manje (Ray) Kaukonde ndakamumaka big time”’ people laughed and it become a talking point.

Dr Gire’s gestures were a source of amusement as she made her points while nodding her head and movement of bejewelled hands.  

She was fixated by the issue of Vice President Mai Mujuru calling her different names and ultimately saying she should leave office.

Her choice of garb on Mai Mujuru as outlined in one of the quotations above was dangerous but it also became a source of jest.

The Mujuru jibe that she had to be baby dumped was viewed with a connotation that Dr Gire is a confessed lover and protector of children but her intention to dump Mujuru was ill placed. We assume she did not mean literally dumping Mujuru but people wondered at her manner of speech.

Dr Gire appeared irritated in all her speeches across the country giving the image of an angry woman.

This was a source of jokes as her audience speculated why she always appeared cross. Possible reasons were thrown around such that she cared so much about the subject she was raving on or that she was generally an angry woman.

Zimbabweans watched as Dr Gire carried herself gingerly at the rallies.

She was mostly robust in her speech bringing something new to her husband’s political party. In a no holds barred communication, ministers and other senior authorities were attacked indiscriminately.

The nation watched in awe wondering at her source of strength. Was she riding on the position of her husband, President Robert Mugabe or on her nomination for the Zanu PF women’s league secretary?

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