HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsFirst Lady, it’s time to redeem yourself

First Lady, it’s time to redeem yourself

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The Manzou Estate saga in Mazowe continues unresolved.

NewsDay Editorial

It seems some people are — for the moment — afraid to show their hand in all this because of the fallout from evicting villages — all of 200 familes in the middle of the rainy season, at the height of the summer cropping season, and rendering their children out of school.

This is a classic case of an ill-advised and ill-timed insensitive — nay, cruel — move in recent memory, not to mention the illegality of it all in disregard of a standing High Court order to stop the eviction, and the stipulation in the Constitution that evictions will only be carried out after alternative land has been provided for the affected people.

This is designed to maintain fairness, justice and orderliness, which are the bedrocks of a democratic State, of which Zimbabwe, according to the Constitution, is one.

But, it seems this is mostly on paper, going by the events in Mazowe. The Judiciary, as the arbiter and mediator in society, has so far done its work professionally. This is highly commendable.

But some might feel, justifiably, that High Court judge Justice November Mtshiya in his ruling this week should have completely ordered the removal of zebras that have been devouring the crops of the villagers on the grounds that the respondents — presumably the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) — are in court with “dirty hands” because they went on demolish homes and evict the villagers and then brought zebra to farms despite a High Court injunction.

That is how it appears on the surface, but one does not have to dig down deep to discover that the ZRP and Zimparks have their hands tied behind their backs.

They are being made to take the flak for the high and mighty.
If anyone is giving unlawful instructions to these two State institutions, they must be exposed and face the legal consequences.

It’s highly likely that the ZRP has been emasculated because Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri could be playing it safe after being labelled as belonging to the Zanu PF faction of ousted Vice-President Joice Mujuru. And it is clear that Zimparks are small boys in all this.

So, it is high time First Lady Grace Mugabe, who is reported to be behind the whole sorry saga in order to establish her private game sanctuary on Manzou Estate, came out into the open.

She must show her hand rather than hide behind the ZRP and Zimparks, making them fall guys.

If there is any dirty work to be done, First Lady, do it for yourself — or categorically distance yourself from this scandalous affair by reversing your reported ill-judged determination to annex Manzou.
We should not be too proud to admit to making mistakes — especially grave ones that might come back to haunt us in the future.

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