Tsvangirai tears into First Lady

HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has described the forced eviction of hundreds of poor families from a farm in Mazowe by President Robert Mugabe’s rapacious wife Grace —  who wants to expand her vast business interests in the area — as “disgraceful”.

Addressing the media at his party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday, the MDC leader also said it was time that Zimbabweans put the quarrelsome First Lady in her place after she hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons yet again this week.

The move to evict the estimated 300 families from Manzou Farm has been described by analysts as “extremely callous” as it had taken place despite the heavy rains that have been pounding the country, and that FROM P1

the subsistence farmers were in the midst of their farming season.

Commenting on the much-condemned evictions that were being carried out illegally and ironically by the country’s law enforcement agents, Tsvangirai said it was clear that Grace was insensitive to the plight of the poor and, to that extent, her “madness” needed to be stopped.

“It is a disgrace really. You cannot have that. Zanu PF has survived on chaos and impunity. This is a typical testimony of insensitivity, at this hour when rains are pouring and you start instituting those measures,” Tsvangirai observed ruefully.

So controversial have the evictions been that many Zimbabweans have over the past few days been questioning Grace’s sincerity to her philanthropic work and commitment to the disadvantaged — which she loves to brag about — particularly as the violent removals are also in blatant violation of the country’s laws.

The action is in total disregard of a High Court order obtained by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) last year to stop the evictions.

Police have not just been destroying the evicted families’ homes and heartlessly  slashing their maize crops, they have also left traumatised women, frail old people and young children to their own devices in the open, in driving rain.

And with schools set to open next week, it is clear that many children will suffer the consequences and miss school. It is understood that Grace wants to turn the fertile farm into a lucrative animal sanctuary.

“Dai anga ari mwana wako asiri kuenda kuchikoro achirara panze (If it was your child who was not going to school and was sleeping in the open), how would you feel?

“How would you feel for those poor families you are evicting? And the irony of it is you are removing them to make way for animals instead of people,” Tsvangirai said.

The influential Grace — currently holidaying with her family in the Far East — has been in a bashful mood since she orchestrated the removal of former vice president Joice Mujuru and her perceived sympathisers from power last year.

Grace, a self-styled “philanthropist” and operator of an orphanage in Mazowe, has in the past indicated that she would like to add a university and a hospital to her sprawling business empire in the area — which already includes a multimillion dollar dairy farm operation.

“I think the time has come to call Grace to order because this is a run of madness,” Tsvangirai added yesterday.

Police first stormed the farm in March last year and razed the peasants’ homes, forcing them off the farm. But a court order obtained by ZLHR saw some of them later returning to their ruined homes.

This was after five of the families approached the High Court, which ruled that the villagers, most of whom had moved on the farm at the height of Zanu PF’s chaotic land reforms in 2000, had the right to stay at the property until government provided alternative land.

Numerous attempts by the families to engage the government to regularise their stay at the farm, which used to be a game park, were repeatedly rejected, with the First Lady now seeking its expansion.

Last year, Grace viciously attacked expelled former deputy minister of Justice, Fortune Chasi, after she accused him of trying to thwart her bid to acquire more farming land in the area.

Chasi is the local MP for Mazowe North, the area where Grace’s business hub is located.

While Grace — who now appears to wield undue influence on Mugabe —  is being bootlicked, sometimes embarrassingly by many Zanu-PF bigwigs, she has struggled to find favour with ordinary Zimbabweans.

Many critics of the First Lady derisively refer to her as “Gucci Grace” or “First Shopper” or lately “Hurricane Grace”.

A significant number of Zanu PF bigwigs also allege that her dramatic entry into formal politics late last year was a first step in her ultimate ambition to allegedly grab the leadership of both the ruling party and the country.

After her “surprise” nomination as head of Zanu PF’s women’s league in August, Grace immediately fronted a ferocious party campaign against Mujuru, accusing the popular widow of Solomon Mujuru of untested allegations of corruption and plotting to topple Mugabe from power.

Comments (40)

So what should we do Morgan? Yes its disgraceful but really does it help to say that when adressing media?We need action not just talk.Everbody knows that what Grace did is wrong,but what can we do considering that she has the police and the army backing her.

chimuti - 9 January 2015

DisGrace is running her affairs remotely by phone telling some stooges in gvt to do this and this. Time to invade her farm. Vanhu vekwaSvosve can take a lead, they have the experience! This is now getting out of hand

Garikayi - 9 January 2015

IS it not the womens' which said grace is now our Mbuya Nehanda in the Mazowe valley so she is right to reclaim it the zpf way. where are the women ? we want them to go and ululate and gyrate in their mothers' regalia. its a trgedy for the commoners sorry zpf ndeyeropa

ndozvo - 9 January 2015

the saddest thing in zim's politics is that the people both rich and poor cherish bootlicking politics mdc , zpf included, and can't see beyond those they bootlick.

politics of patronage - 9 January 2015

All people should go to Mazowe and "sit-in".

selele - 9 January 2015

$@#%&! . . . i want to speak but am tongue tied, left with no words .....

springboard - 9 January 2015

Chimuti yes that is correct what do we do but who, Tsvangirayi alone? no, the problem Zimbabweans are busy hunting for that elsuive dollar even if it i put into Grace's sewerage we will dig into it without winking an eye, that is what we are, idiots. At the end of the day we want to blame it on Tsvangirayi but Tsvangirayi cannot do it alone, just saying it as he has said in some people it will drive us to act.

maita - 9 January 2015

So, Chimuti thinks the liberation of Zimbabwe from the jaws of Gushungo dynasty and DisGrace madness is Tsvangirai's obligation; haaaa? Iwe Chimuti wacho uri chirema here unoda kuitigwa naTsvangirai or anyone else for that matter? Kana uri chirema chema kuna mwari akubetsere pahuremabwako; ndiye watinonzwa muBhibheri kuti anorapa zvirema kana kuzvibetsera nezhira dzake dzakasiyana siyana. Not Tsvangirai - he is just another mortal being. Saka musiye - wekana uribwende uchitya kufa wakanzwa kuti iye ndiye asina ropa here? Tibvire apo!

mapingu - 9 January 2015

The king was on the verge of being rejected by his people. He planned that he would use gregarious war veterans to invade farms and pretend to be restoring it to its rightful owners. The white owners were persecuted and they were accused of siding with the masses when the 2002 referendum did not go the king's way. Events unfolded with the aggregate result that Zimbabwe's economy collapsed completely. Those people who benefited from the land reform soon found out that they neither had the knowledge or the financial wherewithal to make it happen. Tsvangirai who appeared to be the only credible force lost his trouser zip along the way and one Cde Chinoz the self styled leader of farm invasions was awarded a human rights prize!! The queen was awarded a hard earned doctorate with no traceable thesis and soon enough she became the exact replica of Nicolau's wife in deed and form. Today the few farmers who had managed some form of production at farms are wallowing in poverty on account of GMB failure to pay for their produce. The king, the queen and their children are enjoying far from the madding crowd. The Lord is watching surely???

Isidore Mutungagore - 9 January 2015

grace marufu goreraza ''mugabe" will one day account for those tears the families are shading. biblically you can not take a piece of land that belong to any body ande get away with it. ahab and jezebel paid. ahab's blood was licked by the dogs, while jezebel became dog meat

ananian - 9 January 2015

Sadly Morgan Tsvangirai is a spent force and is now totally useless. He is a cling-on and a serious hallucinator. He has had his chances, and now he and his mob of Zanu pf emulators are must wake up to reality. They are collectively intellectually stunted and are still clueless about what they have done wrong. This mob of failures are so stupid that they do no know how stupid the are. They now need to SHUT UP - permanently.

Sashcunt Toriro - 9 January 2015

Yes it is inhuman to chase away other people from the place they call home . But is it the first time that we have seen that in this country . ? Just a few years we had a same operation dubbed Murambaswina which was carried out in the middle of winter where police were used to force people to destroy their own homes right across the nation what did we do as amadoda the country to stop the madness nothing as usual .Elections are stolen every election time what do we do nothing as usual just morning behind closed doors . Grace knows very well that ministers and MPs are her husband ;s other wives and all zimbabweans are their donkeys .Donkeys are docile and they will remain so they are like that by nature so Morgan can not change nature very unfortunate indeed .

Diibulaanyika - 9 January 2015

Madness sickness can strike any time anywhere like this Sashcunt tariro who just started to be mad right here on the internet . What do you mean spent force ? You sound excited like nkuku yena bonile skafu .Who do you think is better a 60 old or 91 old politician ? If you are insane you will say 91 is right .Hate or like him Morgan is liked across the country by all TRIBES and that is very important .

Diibulaanyika - 9 January 2015

Zimbabwe is just another failed story in modern day culture! Someone who is supposed to play a mother figure just tears into peoples' fate like that Oh Dear God! Why have you hidden your face from us?

Regalia - 9 January 2015

Fellow Zimbabwe , we are our own liberators. Lets organize ourselves against the demon that has possessed Grace. We need to tell her at airport that we are fed.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 9 January 2015

Eviction of people from the farms! Is this not what Tsvangirai said he would do if he won power? Grace is doing it for Morgan. So what's wrong now Morgan? Makangofanana.

machakachaka - 9 January 2015

LAND REFORM issue is one "BIG FAT" lie. One way or the other at some point in future people will be moved away from some of these farms. At the moment noone want to know how these people find themselves living in a "game park" in the 1st place. They went in jambanja style they go out jambanja style. After them grace is next to leave that farm. They must take all the minors from this game park settlement and "BABY DUMP" them at Mazowe orphanage while the adults seek alternatives.

X-MAN IV - 9 January 2015

Nezuro ndiye munhu anga achitaura nezve corruption yavamwe. Worse still to cry that Mujuru grabbed 10% shares from a certain company.Who is worse than who?You cannot fool all the people all the time.

Tahir Iqbal - 9 January 2015

Vakasiya vareva vakuru kuti zanu pf icharwadza semimba isinga zvarwi.The real people who were supposed to lead us to a better life died before attaining independence. These were the true leaders.The current leadership in zanu pf are only stage managing.They dont have people at heart.Grace learnt it so fast that to be a zanu cadre you have to be ruthless a killer and a blood sucking monster.Zimbawe comprises of christian and satanist.The santanist are ruling the country at will whilst the christian are mourning every day.It is high time to let it loose no one must listern to one another we just do as we will as we dont have a government that cares.The only problem with zimbabweans is that we are affraid of dying.To tell you the truth we are being governed by mafias.Zvode pfuti tirovane.Kana tichipera topera imbwa idzi dzaenderera.A violent party must emerge to stop this nosense.

D Gwitira - 9 January 2015

@Mupingu, please can you tell us your plans about how Grace , Chinotimba etc can be stopped from grabbing farms.Recently Bona Mugabe grabed another one in Mtoko road and soldiers were there to chase the owner of the farm.We read about it and condemned it, but in no time at all Grace is at it again and soldires are there chasing away the villagers.Yes I may be a "chirema " as you say but really do you think even yourself can stop it no matter how " able bodied " you are.I await to hear your plans.Hopefully your ideas will not be as stupid as you seem to be .

chimuti - 10 January 2015

the opposition is just as disraceful power hungry selfish good for nothing bunch of cowards. It does help to comment in the comfort of your office. zanu pf knows opposition are spineless.imagine u cant take advantage of the 100 plus sacked mps to take on the old man? ple need a leader not a dreamer. if u think SADC et will help, forget it. look at sri lanka today, the former health minister joined forces with all progressive forces and ousted rajapaska.what we have in zim is not opposition bt a replica of zanu pf- selfish and self-centred leaders. dear opposition, the struggle is not about removing mugabe and putting your own, the struggle about giving zimbabweans the dignity, justice, food, health, school, opportunities etc. unless u grasp this,u will forever be opposition and waiting

professor - 10 January 2015

Telling it how it isn't! OIn the event its all a fictious bit of anti government priopaganda should the Daily News not print a retraction. 1 The news media board are ineffective and cover up the crime of their members. 2. A principal is media ethics which has yet to be displayed by the Daily News. 3. When something is directed maliciously against the President or his family it is a criminal offence in Zimbabwe and many other countries. Freedom of expression does not cover terrorism which should still incorporate the death sentence. 4. clearly a deterrent sentence is needed here and the police are negligent in this I will complain and so will many others. If we look at the damage irresponsible journalists are doing to our economy there needs to be serious discipline and deterent. Stories such as government is going back to the Zim Dollar causing a rush on banks and leaving many without fund over holidays need to be addressed as economic sabotage and terrorism. Let the stupid journalists and their financiers try and convince a court of law that freedom of expression overrides an act of terrorism.

lawyer - 10 January 2015

My heart bleeds from this insensitive and hostile action by the first lady. Why would another human being, in plenty, drive the poor and vulnerable into the hostile and inhabitable weather let alone deprive them their only means of survival. Can't you see , Mrs First Lady, that your actions will definitely create more suffering, you could have done it in the dry season. Your actions are not synonymous with the African set up or imperialism principles. If this is the behavior displayed by a recent graduate in philosophy, then I recommend you try your hand on sociology. You might learn some good neighbourliness

Fidel Castro - 10 January 2015

Now it was proved that this farm is not for Grace what is your comment iwe Vhura Zip?

chasura - 10 January 2015

COMPANIES REGISTRATIONS COURSE. Learn how to register companies in 4 hrs. This is a step by step course which conducted in Harare on Tuesdays ,Thursdays, Fridays(9am-1pm) The course covers the following aspects • Private limited company Registration. • Non Profit Company Registration • Private Business Corporation Registration • Tax Registration and Clearance • How to become a consultant At the end the course each student will be furnished with all document templates for use in the trade. Students outside Harare may access course resources electronically. Email:info@bristoladim.com The total cost is $70.00 Call 0782466734

Rodney - 10 January 2015

Remember the Philipinos in Manila putting an end to Mr Ferdinand and Mrs Emilda Marcos' disgraceful abuse of the people? Patience is the virtue of the oppresesed for only as long as they choose to be oppressed.

Abri - 10 January 2015

@ lawyer- it's very clear you are nowhere near being a lawyer.You are just some confused, brainwashed person.What you have just written is called oral diarhoea.

Tahir Iqbal - 10 January 2015

when one refuses to see light and continue to bury ones head in the sand and assume their smelly posterior will change the politics of Zimbabwe then they should expect to horses to grow wings to carry them to " fair, free, democratic, prosperous,s peaceful, country". check out how hot and painful tsvangirai's posterior is today!!! ha ha ha ha ha !

critic - 11 January 2015

it is time for Zimbabweans to look for an alternative solution to save Zimbabwe from the hands of the evil zanu pf The aiternative for you people is in your hands to turn the tables .What is happening in zanu pf is sign of failiar

ngwena - 11 January 2015

You are very right maita. We zimbabweans are educated fools and cowards.

Hatso - 11 January 2015

this is not about tsvangirayi alone but even those zpf members plus the generality of zimbos who do not subscribe to zpf methodology becoz Grace is setting a very bad precedence that require to be stopped urgently. This country is not her possession or property that she can dispose off wily nily and the police aren`t doing themselves any good by accepting to take instructions that are detrimental zimbabweans in general.

mukanya - 12 January 2015

****desperate times call desperate measures indeed****

Lil lee - 12 January 2015

****the problem we have with those who are in power, is that they use a formula called ' BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY', i mean 'if yo property has to be destroyed for them to get RICH they don't hesitate to do that. they use other people's labor as stepping stones****

Lil lee - 12 January 2015

Grace has defacto become the president.....she is taking after the Argentinian president

bheki - 12 January 2015

Mrs. Mujuru must quickly form her Political Party or join the opposition. The time is ripe and should not worst any more time. Now mai Mujuru has enough and sufficient facts against Grace...pliz hit the nail in.

tome filipe - 12 January 2015

fake Dr disgrace is a real lunatic.chidhara chiri kunyatso mukwira iyeyu?

araf - 13 January 2015

the unprecedented rise of of Dr disGrace on her husband's watch should put to bed the fallacy that has been fed to the population that 'mugabe chaiye ari right, ma minister ake ndiwo ari corrupt'. No. mugabe chaiye ndiye HONYE KUWORA. if all his ministers misdemenours happened because he did not have enough instruments to investigate and stop their acts what about the woman wakes up with every morning? you can surely fool people some times, but you cant fool all the people all the time!

araf - 13 January 2015

so sad to watch what is happening in the country we all love so much. Cant we have a grown up democratic vote!! so much pain for so many Zimbabweans and we are all so proud to belong to such an amazing place in Southern Africa

lynda - 15 January 2015

Ah no! Mugabe himself is the real force behind all our economic problems.He is the sole trouble cause in everything.It is foolhardy to try&shift blame to anyone else. Even acting presidents don't make any meaningful decisions during his absence.The guy is both power hungry & corrupt to the core.

hurungudo - 15 January 2015

you go n read animal farm then yu will understand the kind of life tt ordinary ppo of zim are lvng

atso - 16 January 2015

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.