Grace solidarity march misplaced

HARARE - Allies of First Lady Grace Mugabe, in organising a solidarity march in Harare yesterday to show their support after she assaulted a South African model, Gabriella Engels, in Johannesburg two weeks ago, should be ashamed of themselves.

If we may ask; what were they marching in solidarity of because Grace’s South African episodes have brought nothing but shame to Zimbabwe?

Hundreds of Zanu PF supporters were bussed from all over the country for the solidarity march and reading from the various placards they carried, one could see this was a well-choreographed march.

But what these marchers do not realise is that it takes more than a street march for Grace to redeem her political career which is now tainted beyond repair.

Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene and war veteran George Mlala — from a splinter group of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association — were the supposed brains behind this march which exposed President Robert Mugabe and his government’s disregard of the rule of law by supporting Grace’s violent actions in South Africa.

But through this act, Zanu PF has shown its true colours with regards to the issue of the rule of law and human rights.

Zanu PF should desist from abusing its membership because in all fairness, most of those who were at the march did not really know why they were there.

Interestingly, the march came as police in Harare this week blocked a planned demonstration by opposition youths who wanted to storm the South African embassy in protest over the diplomatic immunity granted to Grace.

While denying others the chance to march and demonstrate, the police were yesterday, however, out in full force protecting Zanu PF marchers as they attempted to legitimise a lawlessness and shameless act by the first lady.

The solidarity march will send wrong signals to the whole world that “Zimbabweans” were in support of Grace’s actions.

Interestingly, Grace herself chose not to dignify the solidarity march by absenting herself.

The march is also alarmist in that the whole world will now think that Zimbabweans love what Grace did in South Africa.

It also sends a wrong message that there is lawlessness in Zimbabwe and that the Executive can trample on people’s rights at will without being checked.

While South Africa granted Grace diplomatic immunity allowing her safe exit, the solidarity march will be a slap in the face of their government.

Did Zanu PF ever ask itself what message they were sending to the South African government which went out of its way to grant the diplomatic immunity against its own people?

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