I knelt before Mugabe as sign of respect: Makarau

HARARE - Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson Rita Makarau has said she kneeled and curtseyed for President Robert Mugabe as a sign of humility and respect.

This comes after a picture of Makarau — a Supreme Court judge - kneeling before Mugabe at State House during the launch of biometric voter registration went viral on social media.

The opposition has also expressed outrage, saying Makarau was showing that she was subservient to one of presidential candidates in crucial elections scheduled for next year.

Makarau, who is also the secretary for the Judicial Services Commission, told Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa in an interview that culture demands that she respects her elders and saw nothing untoward about her actions.

“I have been brought up to say that when you are speaking to someone older than you, you kneel down.  That’s how I have been brought up and it was difficult for me to change just like that when he called me to his side,” Makarau said, adding that she also finds herself kneeling when conducting her duties as a Supreme Court judge.

“I find myself kneeling to the Chief Justice (Luke Malaba) if I have to speak to him. I can’t get rid of that upbringing, like I said.

“Even at work, I find myself kneeling. Maybe I need to go for training.”

Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC said it respects Makarau as a woman and as a judge.

“We know that she grew up in Goromonzi District where culture dictates that women should kneel when greeting or talking to male elders,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

“But then for a whole judge to kneel before Mugabe at an occasion that was supposed to be Stately and official, is perhaps taking African culture way too far.

“In that science of communication, Makarau was sending out a message that she is subservient and loyal to Mugabe. But then, Mugabe is also a politician who is going to be a presidential candidate in next year’s elections, or so we are made to believe.

“As such, Makarau shouldn’t have knelt before Mugabe because he is a political contestant amongst other contestants. Would Makarau kneel before Morgan Tsvangirai or Nkosana Moyo the same way she knelt before Mugabe? Most probably not.

“With due respect, we suggest that Makarau should read some books on smart strategies to help her communicate more effectively. She should read a book called 27 Powers of Persuasion written by Chris St.Hilare; the message strategist who handled Arnold Schwarzenegger’s historic victory as governor of California some years back.”

But Makarau said she was “very detached (from politicians) and when I was speaking to him (Mugabe) I was speaking to him in his capacity as the head of state.”

“I think what people forget is that in 2013, I also spoke to the then prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, no questions were raised about that. I speak to any office bearer in my capacity as commissioner of Zec,” she said.

Comments (11)

Nhaiwe Makarambwa - chizezuru chako neState function are two different things. Simply say sorry kwete zvokuswera uchuti wawatira.

dick mboko - 22 September 2017

The MDC concerns itself with small issues.

Sly Fox - 22 September 2017

The function refered to was at state house , which means Mugabe was in his capacity of President of Zimbabwe. There is no need to compare him with any other person in the country. The Tsvangirais , Moyos etc are just ordinary citizens who will have to go to ordinary registration centres . Being a presidential candidate in elections does not equate you to a sitting President.The Obert Gutus who are complaining are showing the people how ignorant they are as a party and one wonders how such ignorant people would rule a country. What a shame.

Haibo ! - 22 September 2017

gutu tinosangana kumavotes

g40 - 22 September 2017

Nothing wrong in me clapping my hands when greeting Cde Mugabe or Tsvangirai? Leave Justice Makarau to do what she wants , provided she is not insulting anyone. Inga Mai Mujuru vai tyora muzura in Korekore sytle before the President.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 22 September 2017

Nothing wrong in me clapping my hands when greeting Cde Mugabe or Tsvangirai? Leave Justice Makarau to do what she wants , provided she is not insulting anyone. Inga Mai Mujuru vai tyora muzura in Korekore style before the President.

Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) - 22 September 2017

She most probably does not kneel for her husbands if she has any at all.Spare us the agony of listening to your sickening nonsense Rita,you are just trying to hide behind burnt bushes.That old dictator manipulated you long back.You can never do anything that is opposed to him.You were shoved down in the old dictator's deep pockets long back.

JANANA WA BIKAZ - 22 September 2017

Rita Makarau is mugabe's daughter, can't you see they look very much alike. The truth will come out one day.

misty - 22 September 2017

Itz no surprising that Makarau,despite her being a constitutionally mandated leader of our national election body-referre in which Mugabe will play as a candidate & again a prominent judge at the supreme court for that matter; could still want to address Mugabe- who is head of state & already senior to her by the virtue of his state presidency,& again an old man for that matter; no surprising & no obliteration of n duty of hers, that she could still want to address him with some womanly respect of our culture.We accept & respect it as per our culture& our christian values

addmore gudo - 22 September 2017

This gesture by Mukaru ,clearly exuded that she is subservient to Mugabe. We can't expect any good from her in 2018. My country Zimbabwe is in dire need of political hygiene

Drey - 24 September 2017

@gudo - which Christian value does Zanu (ruzevha front) uphold? Murder, theft, fraud, blackmail, coercion? Which one?

Sagitarr - 25 September 2017

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.