Grace Mugabe is to be appointed by her husband to the position of Secretary for the Women’s League at the ruling party’s National People’s Congress to be held in December.
The Zanu-PF Women’s League yesterday unanimously recommended to President Mugabe the appointment of the First Lady, Grace.
The endorsement was made at an event attended by thousands of women from the country’s 10 provinces at the Amai Grace Mugabe Children’s Home in Mazowe.
Zanu-PF Politburo member and president of the Senate Cde Edna Madzongwe set the ball rolling when she told the crowd that they had gathered for, among other things, to ask the First Lady to take over the leadership of the Women’s League at the congress.
“Zvataunganira pano chaizvo izvo . . . taunganira kuti isu tinodawo munhu anopihwa nzeve two minutes tabva kuchema kuti hwi-hwi kuti mwana arikuchema uyu aita sei? Taunganira pano kuti mai vatungamire madzimai, tati chikurukuru chataunganira pano ndechekuti Amai vatungamire madzimai,” Cde Madzongwe said to a rapturous applause from the gathering.
Addressing the same gathering, Secretary for the Women’s League Cde Oppah Muchinguri said it was time that the First Lady became active in the party structures by assuming the position.
“Proposal yaitwa naPresident weSenate, vanachimbwido vataura kuti mai manga muchimbonzvenga-nzvenga musangano uchirasika, vanhu vachishaya kwekuenda kuti tajingiliswa, tatorerwa zvigaro zvisirizvo,” she said.
“Mukaona vanhu vakudaro, kutsvaga kuti muuye muone maprovince enyu aya, muuye mutaure nemachairlady variko ava. Munzwe chitsotsi chiri kuiitika.”
Muchinguri then asked the women gathered whether they agreed with the proposal made or not and all of them unanimously affirmed by show of hands.
After the women showed their unanimous support for the recommendation, Cde Muchinguri then formally conveyed to the First Lady the request by the Women’s League.
“Mai zvanzi nevana venyu vandichikutungamira kusvika, ah munaDecember, zvanzi uyai kuWomen’s League mavawona mega, handiniba,” she said. “Wati hamungashungurudzwe kune pekutandara hanzi nhamo yakutakura Baba Mugabe handiyenyu. Regai titambe Chimurenga tichivaratidza kuti tiripo.
“Ndinoziva zvakarema, handinyore nekuti mai vaimboti handidi politics asi vakajoiniswa, kutambura kwese masanctions, takatadza kuenda kuBelgium nenyaya yavo mufunge vanyimwa Visa. Mai vana venyu vati titungamirei.”
Muchinguri said during the time when the late First Lady Amai Sally Mugabe led the Women’s League the problems of factionalism that were being experienced now were unheard of.
Amai Sally Mugabe was elected the Zanu-PF deputy secretary for the Women’s League in 1978 and was later elected secretary-general of the same organ at the party’s congress in 1989.
Muchinguri said that they would assist Amai Mugabe if she took over the post.
In her acceptance speech, the First Lady said she had been humbled by the request from the Women’s League, but asked for time to consider their request.
“Ini ndiri nanny, ndiri munhu anochengeta vana mananny amuinawo kumba vasikana vebasa, ndiri musikana webasa, ndiri munhu anochengeta vana nekubereka vana,” she said.
“Zvino zvamurikunditaurira izvi nanny agozvigona? yuwi! Makutopenga seveZiLWACO (Zimbabwe National Liberation War Collaborators Association), asi mukati huya ubereke vana uchiwacha, ha, ndinozvigona.”
ZiLWACO was the first organisation to recommend that Amai Mugabe take over the leadership of the Women’s League when they met at her children’s home.
Amai Mugabe jokingly said if joining the Women’s League was all about dancing and singing as exhibited by some of them during the event she would gladly join.
She, however, said she needed time to consider the request.
“Energy yekutamba nekubereka vana ndinayo asi yezvirikutaurwa nevavo nezvamuri kutaura mese madzimai zvinoda kumbofunga,” she said. “Ndazvinzwa veduwee zvamataura, ndanzwa zvamataura asi ndozvamurikuda imi hapana anokurambidzai ndofreedom of expression muZimbabwe.
“Asi munoziva kana uchinyengwa ka haungangoti ehe . . . haungangoti pfocho pfocho nekuti unofanira kunge uchipinda mazviri uri well informed, saka ini ndinoda kumboita well informed ndozouya ndichiti vasikana zvinoita mandidzidzisa Mai Muchinguri.”
Amai Mugabe, however, said if the proposal was acceptable to the party’s leadership and its members, it would be difficult for her to refuse to take up the offer, but thanked the women for considering her for the position.
“Ini ndakangoudzwawo ndovakangondiudza ava (Cde Muchinguri) kuti this is an appointed position, saka mataura, ini handingangoti ehe kana zvangonobvumwa kumusoro uko vanhu vakabvumirana tinenge takuona kuti zvicharambika here kana kuti zvinobvumika here munhu unenge wakungoshandisa common sense.”
Amai Mugabe thanked the women for considering her to lead them, but said the decisions would be made by the appropriate authority. “Shoko ndarinzwa asi decision inoitwa nevanofanira kuita decision, asi ndinongotenda nekutondifunga kwamaita kuti ndingatokwanisa kushanda nemi,” she said.