As she celebrated her 51st birthday the First Lady, Grace Mugabe touched on two controversial issues, her cancer and her daughter Bona’s miscarriage. Speaking during her 51st birthday celebrations Mugabe took a swipe at the private media, which she claimed peddled lies about her and her family. Interestingly however, Grace seemed to confirm reports she had cancer as she said; “Detractors peddle lies. They say I have cancer and am dying. Everyone gets sick at one point in time. I am also a human being. I will continue working hard and I will not be deterred or distracted because I have determination.”
On her daughter Bona’s Miscarriage she said; “We were disheartened, but we continued to pray and now we have a grandson. It has always been my prayer and wish that President Mugabe sees his grandchildren.” In order to stave off criticism over her lavish lifestyle Grace celebrated her 51st birthday celebrations at a handover ceremony of goods donated to various children’s homes at her Mazowe Children’s Home. Mugabe donated foodstuffs that included maizemeal, cooking oil, beans, washing soap and salt to 50 children’s homes and cash amounting to $50 000.
Recipients included Harare Children’s Home, Kapota School of the Blind, Makumbi Children’s home, Hurungwe Children’s Home, Ekhaya Children’s Home and Blue Hills. Grace said some media houses were in the habit of peddling falsehoods ignoring positive developments taking place in the country and said this scared away investors.
“Why can’t you speak of the good work I am doing? The media is awash with bad coverage dayin dayout. But I do not mind. We all have a role to sell our country and the way we brand Zimbabwe is very important. “If you say Zimbabwe is a rogue state, you know what it means and what the negativism brings. It brings suffering. Always say positive things about your country. You will see also positive things shaping up. I do not understand sometimes the way we think. It does not matter who you are and whatever you are doing as long as you are a Zimbabwean, you remain Zimbabwean,” said Grace.
She said Zimbabweans should utilise their skills to build the nation. “It is up to what we do with what we have. This is what we have, the beautiful Zimbabwe endowed with a lot of riches. What is it that we can do to improve our lives as Zimbabweans?” she asked. “We should work and exploit what God has given us together as Zimbabweans. Chara chimwe hachitswanye inda. We must all make concerted efforts to work for Zimbabwe,” she said.
She said people had been talking of a good Zimbabwe and that this could be achieved if Zimbabweans worked together. Grace said there were positive developments taking place in the country which were worth covering including her efforts in looking after children at Mazowe Children’s Home. “Now I want to show people and invite people to see development in our country and in Mazowe. Media houses should do their job of selling Zimbabwe. Others especially ZBC and Judith Makwanya are doing that. We want to court investors to come and work with us here. “How do we court them if we are posting negative things about Zimbabwe? Who is attracted to bad things? We are all attracted to things that make us happy, things that make us comfortable.
And here, I am doing things that you can be proud of as Zimbabweans. You can tell others about what your First Lady is doing instead of just dwelling on things that bring disunity. “United we stand, divided we fall. Some of the negative things we face as a nation such sanctions were called for by Zimbabweans and people are suffering because one of us called upon Western countries to impose sanctions upon Zimbabwe,” she said. Grace said Western countries were not democratic as they imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for no reason. She applauded Zimbabweans for being resilient even under hard times.
“We continue to pray and all this will come to pass one day. I am very optimistic that God is on our side. We are suffering, but we are resilient. Let us not despair when times are hard. We should remain focused as a nation. One day we will prosper as a nation. Grace said Zimbabwe had been under attack from the West, but the land reform was unavoidable and could not have been done any other way. “There is no other better way we could have approached the land reform. It is not easy to take the land. There will be some resistance. We have the land and we are proud. The land gives us a sense of belonging. “The land is our heritage and we should also reserve it for future generations. Everyone should thrive to have a piece of land. If you have land, you are your own boss. Our children and grandchildren should continue to benefit from the land,” she said.
Grace said establishing Mazowe Children’s Home was not rosy, but she had persevered. A high school is under construction that will have an intake of 1 000 students. She encouraged men to be responsible and said it was because of irresponsibility that some children were at children’s homes. Grace said her children’s home had always been her vision to assist the disadvantaged and applauded other children’s homes for their sterling job in looking after less fortunate children.
In attendance was her soninlaw Mr Simba Chikore and his wife Bona and their son Simbanashe. Grace said it was unfortunate that after Bona got married, she had miscarried twins. Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister Advocate Martin Dinha, Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare, Prisca Mupfumira, senior Government officials and children from the country’s 10 provinces attended the colourful occasion.