Grace, Chombo on collision path

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has stuck to her guns on vendors — maintaining that the police should not force them out from the streets — effectively setting herself on a collision path with Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo who recently declared war on street hawkers.

As she launched the International Women’s Day yesterday, the increasingly influential First Lady said the police should not employ heavy-handed tactics when dealing with vendors — who are desperately eking a living on the streets.

This comes as the ever-increasing numbers of vendors on the streets is presenting a big problem for councils — with Chombo recently declaring that government will soon clean up the streets to bring order.

Yesterday, at a local hotel in Harare, Grace however, said the police should leave the vendors to do their business.

“However, I want to urge government to ensure that a conducive environment is put in place for women’s involvement in different sectors this should include women vendors who are subjected to all kinds of ill treatment. Mapurisa (Police), mapurisa please, mapurisa, probably you were able to go to school and attested in the police force because your mother was selling tomatoes to pay your school fees,” said Grace.

Grace said the police should henceforth stop the practice of confiscating wares they would have raided from desperate vendors.

“Ngatiregerei kutorera vanhu zvinhu zvavo, ndakati kana vasiri kutengesera mumadesignated places taurai navo zvakanaka havarambi. Kana muine nzara musina matomatoes kweretai chikwereti hachirambwi, nekuti matomatoes iwayo amuri kutora nezvimwe zvamunenge muchitora kana zvakunzi chiburitsai tione munenge musina zvichinzi zvakaora. Isu tinenge tatorerwa zvinhu zvedu zvichinzi zvakaora tiratidzei zvakangoora kudaro. Ngatiregei kudarano veduwe tiri kutsvaga kurarama. (Police you should desist from taking away goods from vendors. Sometimes if they are perishable goods you say they are rotten when they demand that you return them. You should return the goods even if they are rotten. If it is an issue of designated selling points you should talk to them they will not refuse.)

Almost giving orders to the police, Mugabe’s wife said the law enforcement agents should respect vendors.

“Vazvinzwa vakuru vemapurisa vagere pamberi apo, (Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity) Mai Charamba nevamwe vavo vazvinzwa. Mazvinzwa mhamha handiti.” (The police bigwigs seated in the front row have understood me.).

“The participation of women in politics and decision-making is a fundamental pre-requisite for gender equality and women empowerment,” said Grace.

“I firmly believe that eradication of poverty and economic empowerment of women as enunciated in the Beijing Declaration are the chief anchors for achieving gender equality,” she added.

A grovelling Chris Mushowe, who is the acting minister of Women Affairs and Gender Development, said the path for women is going to be easier with Grace’s entry into mainstream politics as Zanu PF secretary for women’s affairs.

Comments (14)

Is this the same Grace who cruelly brought another woman down using false pretences?

Sibonile - 7 March 2015

ndakaterera hangu ndiri pano pamusoro pegomo reNyangani ndirimo muchirikuutsi. ndiri kuona hangu zvese, umwe ano tumwa kundopisa, umwe womhanya kunodzima woti ndini chaiye wenyu asi kana odzoka unodzoka zve kundorangana newapisa uya sarudzo ngeyenyu wakomana

nyanga - 7 March 2015

ndakaterera hangu ndiri pano pamusoro pegomo reNyangani ndirimo muchirikuutsi. ndiri kuona hangu zvese, umwe ano tumwa kundopisa, umwe womhanya kunodzima woti ndini chaiye wenyu asi kana odzoka unodzoka zve kundorangana newapisa uya sarudzo ngeyenyu wakomana

nyanga - 7 March 2015

This is catch 22. A vendor is not a thief and none the same vending in a none designated area causes disorder and commotion. What percentage of our population should be vending and in any case in an orderly manner? To be sincere, the population percentage of vendors should never exceed 5% of our population in cities. Now just about 30% of our house- holds are now vending. This is a bad sign. The economy has collapsed! The good people are desperate. Why is Grace closing her eyes? OK Bazaars are selling fruit within their shop and 20 vendors in front of their shop are blocking the customers, and are also selling fruit. Is that not a recipe for chaos? There is more to that chaos than the eye can meet. There is a complete breakdown of hygiene and sanitation. There are no toilets, no adequate dust bins and the vending personnel handling food are not trained to handle food distribution hygienically. For Grace to command the police in public not to clear the vendors is cheap populist politicking. That advice to the police could have been made all the same but not in public. Grace is curing the effects than the causes of the failed economy. We do not need that from her. We want policies for curing the failed economy. Given a choice, all those people vending would not want to that meager remunerating job. Grace is throwing sugar coated cheap politics. This is why we are a failed state. We are being led by fools. This is Zim Asset Stripping at its best.

Mbareboy - 7 March 2015

I agree with Madam Grace (MG) that police shouldnt confiscate the vendors' wares. They should fine them but give them back their wares. Bu MG is barking up the wrong tree. If she really means what she is saying then, now as a very senior member of the ruling party, she must push that agenda in ZPF meetings, get party policy on the vendors and then party directs the responsible Minister(s) to table the amendments to the law in Parliament. as long as theres a law that criminalises vending in undesignated areas, it would be gross abdication or negligence of duty by police not to enforce that law. Police do not enforce only reasonable laws, but all laws. That's their job. MG must push for the change of laws in support of her position. If she becomes a legislator or Minister(as expected by many) she will have the wherewithal to push that agenda to fruition

boutros - 8 March 2015

Boutrous, You are correct all the way. In a society with dignity and full rights, the police dare not confiscate anybody's goods. It goes without mentioning that vendors are poor people who should not be victimised. Now watch, the police are the biggest street kid organisation begging for money in Zimbabwe. The police are just people, part of us who have lost it. What is the cause of all this? Grinding poverty is the cause. the vendor and the police are both as much victims of crumbled society. As a young boy in Rhodesia never did I witness a policeman canvassing a bribe. Now do not get me wrong. Rhodesia was shit and that is why we went out to fight it. Now look. we are worse off than we were in Rhodesia. The truth is Zanu-PF created poverty to control the masses. 34 years in Zim Asset Stripping spree?

Mbareboy - 8 March 2015

Hahahahaha, and the stupid Zimbos will be lining up to applaud!

Grace Rufu - 8 March 2015

isu vanhu varikutaurirwa rubbish iyi na Grace tichibvuma we are the ones to blame. Grace deliberately ignores the cause of such numbers of illegal street vending. the real cause is YOU and YOUR Old husband. Mugabe has caused the untold suffering that people are subjected to today, forcing all of us to become poor vendors. Kuita vendor kunorwadza hama dzangu. if you hear Grace advocating for us vendors its because she wants to cover up for her evil nemurume wake. Taramba kuitwa nyika yema vendor na DEVIL Grace. Mugabe I had lots of respect for you, but NOT any more. watitambudza, MWARI dai vakakukanda mugehena remote. dai firo yako na DEVIL Grace ikava inorwadza, kuti munzwe kurwadziwa kwatirikuitawo isu vanhu veZimbabbwe.

Chaotic Grace - 9 March 2015

dis-grace why see a splinter in someone's eyes and not the log in your own eye. Isnt this the same grace who threwaway people in the cold to make way for her wildlife park?? How ironic. Am embarassed to say the least. the mugabes must just leave Zim alone!

obama4ever - 9 March 2015

seeing that tsvangirai is about to be president, grace suddenly agrees with him.

s - 9 March 2015

If you want to see how this ZPF operates, the script is simple. Sympathize with the public AGAINST the law. Next ask those people so redeemed, to BREAK the law (land grabs et al). Identify those who are working "against" the party. Weed them out. Embarass them. Humiliate them on ZTV, The Horrid everywhere. Repeat step # 2 above until amen

Nathanjo Moyo - 10 March 2015

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