THE recent inhuman eviction of over 200 villagers from Manzou Farm in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central Province, to pave way for First Lady Grace Mugabe’s private animal sanctuary can best be described as a callous act by a woman of her status.
President Robert Mugabe’s wife ordered the removal of these inhabitants to expand her business empire which stretches from where her orphanage is located.
Zimbabweans have learnt with shock that a woman, whom society regards as a mother figure, can be so “unfeeling and unsympathetic” to the hundreds of families that have been left homeless following the evictions. The underlying message in the evictions is clear that the First Lady does not want to live near commoners, hence would rather have animals surround her. Yet, she herself is a commoner from Chivhu.
Zimbabwe has no shortage of game parks which the First Lady can adopt and create an animal kingdom. But removing hapless villagers, who have absolutely nowhere to go, is something that no woman with a motherly instinct can do.
There was outrage over a week ago after police swooped on the farm, destroying houses and evicting families from the property, which is also near Grace’s dairy farm and several other projects belonging to the First Family.
Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha recently confirmed that the land was earmarked for the expansion of Grace’s business projects, although he had initially distanced her from the property. It is regrettable that Dinha like many of his ilk have become Grace’s poodles just to remain in the Zanu PF gravy train, but against their conscience.
Grace herself confirmed her interest in the land at one of her campaign rallies last year when she told Zanu PF youths that she wanted to take over the conservancy and use it to generate income for her orphanage.
Although the High Court has ordered the evictions to stop, Dinha has nevertheless warned the affected villagers not to place much hope on the court order.
This development clearly demonstrates the kind of leadership Zimbabweans will have to endure.
It won’t be surprising for the First Family to order dismissal of the judge who made the ruling in favour of the poor villagers.
Why are they being evicted before alternative land has been found as had been ordered by the courts before?
These people had obviously planted their maize crops to sustain them during the dry season, but they soon will become perpetual beggars without any hope of getting State support.
The fate of these people resembles that of the estimated 3 000 Chingwizi folk who, after they were pushed out of their homes by flash floods at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam last year, spent the better part of last year cramped at Chingwizi Transit Camp as government officials haggled over where to resettle them. Finally, the villagers were forcibly resettled at one-hectare plots despite their clamour for more land to sustain themselves.
With Grace as head of Zanu PF’s all-powerful Women’s League, it goes without saying that Zimbabweans in general and ruling party supporters in particular are headed for tough times given her blatant disregard for basic human rights.
It appears Grace has absolutely no conscience at all as all she thinks of is herself and the stooges that surround her.
Let’s watch and see what happens next.