Candid Comment: Open letter to the First Lady

Faith-Zaba-cut.jpg

Whatever people might say about you, you have come a very long way to be where you are; from the humble beginnings to the top echelons of society. As you sometimes like reminding people, you are really sitting at the ivory tower at the summit of political power in Zimbabwe.

Faith Zaba

The fact is that you are there at the top and you are also at the helm of the Zanu PF Women’s League, sitting in the de facto decision-making politburo where very critical decisions about the party and about how government is run and policies are made to give direction to the nation.

Yours is a fairytale, rags-to-riches story. For you to rise to where you are having started right at the bottom is not a mean feat. As you sometimes indicate that you were once a cross-border trader and then later a clerk in President’s Office and from there, given that you are endowed with natural beauty and hopefully intelligence, you caught the eye of the most powerful man in the country, President Robert Mugabe, life was never the same for you. It could only have been one way, up.

Your charity work at Danhiko Project and the children’s orphanage has indeed put you in good stead and you have managed to take the mantle from the late Sally Mugabe very well in that regard. That you have done a lot for society with your work at your orphanage and with the disabled cannot be disputed.

However, what we have seen since 2014 leaves a lot to be desired. While it is your democratic right to be involved in politics, there are standards that are expected of people who are at your level. Some of the basic expectations are not difficult to meet. You are expected to engage people in a civil manner, politely and honestly. You can be aggressive without being abusive. You can make your point without being insulting or intimidating. You can be heard without shouting. But what we have seen since 2014 has been nothing short of disgraceful.

Your haranguing of real or perceived opponents, calling them names and ruthless character assassinations using foul language has tainted your legacy. This is completely unbefitting of a First Lady and a mother, let alone the mother of the nation.

We have heard from you, things that even hardcore and uncultured politicians dare not say.

How does the First Lady say “handisi hure raMugabe (I am not Mugabe’s prostitute)? How does that even arise and how does the First Lady talk about other people’s children’s paternity? Do you still remember some of the things you said about Joice Mujuru? It was just in bad taste. Politics, yes, but character assassination and poisoning society, no.

Zanu PF and society in general are highly polarised and divided partly because of what you have been doing and saying.

In your own personal interest, your children’s interest and husband’s interest, as well as the interest of the nation, it would be more helpful if you could pick up some important lessons of what has been going on and learn something important — that humility and civility are a virtue. I hope you will take our advice with the spirit in which it is intended. It is never too late to reform and change.

Email: fzaba@zimind.co.zw

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