Africa

An open letter to Grace Mugabe – hear the call of your ‘children’

It is time you and your husband let go of the grip you have on Zimbabwe and allow the country to rise up and flourish again. By GERALD DZAWO.

First Lady,

On 6 September 2017, I listened with horror to a nine-year-old girl telling her story of how she and others her age are selling their bodies for sexual favours in order to survive. It pains me to think that this is happening in our country – a country once held in high esteem by many around the world but one that has been reduced to 90% unemployment and child prostitution.

We are a country that was known as the breadbasket of Africa but is now known for the mass flight from it. Many people ask the question, why this is like this – how did it get to this point?

My answer is that it is because of the seemingly unquenchable greed that is rampant in Zanu-PF and might I say that is evident in your family too.

I am writing this letter to you in an attempt to appeal to you as a child would to his mother, hoping that you would hear the cry of “your” people. Many people call you the mother of the nation – a title that comes with being the First Lady, no doubt, but I feel that you have failed to live up to this title.

What mother watches her “children” struggle to survive and have to resort to prostitution at nine years old for a mere 25 cents? What mother buys multimillion-dollar mansions in a foreign country while her “children” are being evicted from their homes, to make room for more of your opulence? What mother is not concerned about the state of our hospitals, but rather goes to foreign nations for treatment?

Mai Mugabe, you have failed the nation of Zimbabwe, you have failed the “children” of Zimbabwe. I hear that you have aspirations to run the country – how can you want that responsibility of mothering so many people and yet you have trouble controlling your own sons? Is our country that bad that you feel that your own children cannot live in it? I think that the reason you want them out of the country is so that the general populace do not see how you have failed there too – the recent shenanigans in South Africa being a case in point.

I remember a time when one of your sons visited our youth group in the company of his protective detail and the conversation that I had with a couple of the guys. I remember them thanking me for the message that night because, in their words, “havazvione kumba izvi” (they don’t get this at home) and so when I hear of what happened in South Africa, I have to say that the problem is not the company your boys keep, but rather the boys themselves.

I wrote to your husband, President Robert Mugabe, expressing my sentiments on why I thought he should retire, and today I would like to appeal to you to allow him to step down and let people who have a heart for the people govern the country.

Zanu-PF has shown that it is not the people’s party and that they are concerned with enriching themselves at the expense of the masses. Haven’t you amassed enough for you and your husband to enjoy the company of your grandchild? I find it ironic that last week you gave a speech imploring people to respect the girl child and yet you do not live this out.

Mai Mugabe, it is time you and your husband let go of the grip you have on Zimbabwe and allow the country to rise up and flourish again. If you have any hope of being truly known as the “Mother of Zimbabwe”, then resign from the women’s league and encourage President Mugabe to step down and enjoy the last years of his life without the burden of running a country and having to make all those appearances associated with the presidium – he is an old man increasingly showing how frail he is. The time has come for you and your husband to step down and for him to be known as the liberator of Zimbabwe, once again! Your “children” are crying out. DM

Gerald Dzawo is a concerned Zimbabwean Citizen who was forced to relocate to the United States in 2012 after being harassed by government agents in his home country.

Photo: Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe addresses supporters who attended her 'meet the people tour' in Harare on 08 October 2014. She had recently been nominated head of the Zanu PF's women's league. Photo: Aaron Ufumeli/(EPA).

HEADLINE FEATURES

YOUR NEXT ARTICLE