HomeEditorial CommentBuilding a political career around orphanage wrong

Building a political career around orphanage wrong

Naturally, what people do and how they carry themselves around speak better for them than having to use words to build an identity.

Sunday Opinion by Conelia Mabasa

Imagine if Oliver Mtukudzi “Tuku” would take every opportunity to tell us that he is a great musician? That would take much from his stature.

It makes much sense to let the music speak for him. To get the guitars, drums and other instruments spread the message, to give his versatility a chance to interact with the audience.

It is a skill to be able to leave music reviewers to critique his work, then to take lessons therefrom without prejudice. Humanity values humility.

Events in the political arena have given us Grace Mugabe as the incoming Women’s League boss come the December Zanu PF elective congress. She is taking over from war cadre Oppah Muchinguri who recently conceded that her next political appointment depends on Robert Mugabe.

She had to give way for amai, so she says, because as women, they felt they had to do something for her to acknowledge the good work she has done being the pillar upon which the President rests. Isn’t that as it should be for husband and wife?

For years, people compared the First Lady with Mugabe’s first wife, Sally, who was a compassionate woman. When Grace established an orphanage in Mazowe, I thought she was finally going to exonerate herself from the mean woman tag, extravagant and worshipping on the altar of opulence.

She followed that up by building a school in the area to “educate the orphans”. She has been on a spree to acquire more and more land without a care what happens to people who used to occupy the surrounding farms. She also plans to build a hospital, a museum and a university in the area.

What becomes repulsive at the end of the day is that she has turned that orphanage into a political spring board. Instead of leaving the philanthropic work to do the talking for her, she has turned Mazowe into some personal political space.

Zanu PF women, youths and now the chiefs are visiting her at the orphanage to pronounce their support and endorsement for the position of the powerful women’s league boss.

It is given that she will take over because she won’t be contested at congress. The stampede is just to curry favour with her and the President.

Are we witnessing an abuse of the under-privileged to further powerful people’s ambitions? Yes, she has given the children a home and hope of a bright future, but is she turning them into initiates of Zanu PF’s partisan politics by engulfing them with slogans every now and then? It was at Mazowe that she declared that she is “strict but firm”, threatening to pull bigger punches against enemies and promising to rein in those who dared stand in her way.

She used language so bad it should not come out of a head of state’s wife, so vicious it can’t be said within children’s earshot; so intimidating that it instils fear when people need to feel confident and safe in their own country.

The language is so telling of dictatorial leadership on the way. Why use the orphanage as a political selling point? Where is the compassion?

Is she using it as a tool to reach the hearts of the electorate ahead of the congress? A means to an end. A launch pad for her political career.

Surely the insincerity of it cannot escape us all.

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