Emulate Sally, Grace advised

HARARE - Newly-crowned Zanu PF Women’s League boss Grace Mugabe should emulate the life and work of President Robert Mugabe’s first wife, the late Sally, who stood for the poor and unity in Zanu PF, firebrand war veteran Margaret Dongo has said.

In an interview with the Daily News, Dongo — who joined the liberation war at the tender age of 15 — also said although as a First Lady, Sally had been privy to sensitive information, she never acted recklessly with such information or abused her proximity to power.

Dongo also called on Zimbabweans to honour the late heroine more as she led an upright and exemplary life, including protecting “young girls and women” from bullies and abusive men during the struggle.

“She looked after freedom fighters as if they were her own children, as if she had given birth to us.

“She looked after the welfare of comrades, visiting their rented rooms, helping them to build their own houses, using her car to take them to the clinic, paying for food and medicines when we couldn’t pay.

“She was indeed the mother and sister of all comrades,” said a nostalgic Dongo.

Commenting in the wake of Zanu PF’s recent controversial naming of a road in Harare after Grace, Dongo said it was a travesty of justice that the Harare City Council had not named one of the metropolis’ streets after Sally who passed away in 1992.

“As freedom fighters, we request that the City of Harare names Fourth Street after Sally. This is to honour the role she played before and after independence,” Dongo said.

The Ghana-born Sally has seemingly faded into oblivion since her death, with many praise singers in the ruling party keen to curry favour with the influential Grace who had an affair and bore her first child Bona with Mugabe while the president’s first wife was on her death bed.

Dongo, who says she was mentored in politics by Sally, added that the late former first lady’s contribution to Zimbabwe during and after the liberation struggle was “beyond comparison”.

She said the formation of the ruling party’s powerful women’s league, for example, was to a large extent the result of the work of the late heroine.

“We freedom fighters were looked after by Sally. I was only 15 when I joined the struggle, leaving school to go to Mozambique.

“We young girls suffered from all sorts of deprivation and abuse. Sally provided us with help in so many daily and practical ways.

“She bought lots of khaki material so that we could sew our own clothes. She protected us from sexual predators. She was really our mother,” Dongo said.

Even in post-independent Zimbabwe, Sally had remained a “first lady for the poor”.

“She identified with the poor and weak. She helped the handicapped to get jobs in industries in Ruwa. She built houses for leprosy victims. She was the first lady for the poor, always looking after their welfare,” Dongo added.

The former legislator added that while every first lady could be privy to sensitive information, Sally was not the type to spill salacious and scandalous details in public.

“She never displayed any dislike for a person and was a motherly figure. She was very polite and respectful. She was action-oriented.

“When she was confirmed as the secretary for the women’s league, her aim was to ensure that every woman should have a job or dependable income,” Dongo said.

In contrast Grace, has gloated over having single-handedly destroyed Joice Mujuru and has on many occasions displayed a penchant for confrontation.

“When she was alive she (Sally) always reminded His Excellency not to forget the poor. Now the poor believe they have been forgotten. They no longer have a representative in high places.

“They hope and pray that first lady Grace will represent their interests. That is why Grace has received so much support since her recent entry into politics. The poor want her to fight for them and not to be involved in dirty politics,” Dongo said.

Comments (15)

Be careful mai Dongo. Grace is ruthless.

selele - 10 December 2014

The 2nd lady we have spits poison. Swallows some of them , caresses others , rapes them in assassinations and baby-dumps them. What a difference between the two lads

Nyeruke - 10 December 2014

Grace is said to have attained a Doctorate but spews venom. No advise can be taken by the learned disgrace.

hezvoka - 10 December 2014

Imi pamwe dzakatodambuka kare isu tichingofunga kuti munhu ari bho. How does one award herself a doctorate, chide and ridicule grown up men and women as if they were worse than flies and then goes on to fire a VP and 8 ministers all in two months. DisGraceful!!!

Isidore Cuthbert Mutungagore - 10 December 2014

Yet another scorcher from Margaret Dongo. Sally naturally exuded that motherly stature from the way she dressed, spoke and showed love to the populace. Enter Grace and a whole different picture was painted, the exact opposite. Zimbabwe would have been a better place were Sally still alive.

Dr Know - 10 December 2014

Ah please Margaret you should know better in that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Sally was a lady who carried herself like and spoke like a lady. lets leave it there!

saundy - 10 December 2014

Grace is onboard a pirate ship in high and rough seas. Its no holds bar onboard. Anything goes in zanu pf. Its either you eat somebody or get eaten. grace is like "pit bull". She will lose her teeth upon mugabe's death. Its a matter of time before that happens. I want to hear her saying" Mnangagwa its me who put you into that position. Thats is if she is still around. Grace is such a material witness which most in zanu pf dont want. She will have a short life span in politics.

X-MAN IV - 10 December 2014

Some people seem to have limited historical records or memories about this lady. [Sarah Francesca (Hayfron) Mugabe] She was a major beneficiary of the Willowgate Toyota Cressida car scandal. A number of these cars of 'hers' ended up in her country of origin - Ghana. She was also said to have knowledge about the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the death of the despots brother Albert, ZANU-PF officials believed that Mugabe's 'impotence' is what led his first wife to have an affair with his brother Albert.

Nhamodzenyika Pamire - 10 December 2014

I would have captioned this article thus: Margaret Dongo ; A Lamenting Orphan Goes Back Down memory Lane.

tafamutekwe - 11 December 2014


reason - 11 December 2014

Every married man who entertains and promotes "a small house" knows its treatment and behaviour

Mukanya - 11 December 2014

Mina I beg to differ. Sally was at the peak of her power when Mugabe decided to deal with PF(ZAPU). Thousands of people lost their lives including some who were killed at police stations in the 1985 elections.Did Sally ever speak for these people? Who can forget when then Prime Minister spoke of "hitting to snake on the head" and sure enough blood flowed.

Somadoda Shumba - 11 December 2014

tibvirei apo mashaya zvekutaura here

gamatox - 11 December 2014

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