FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe has said President Robert Mugabe is the best leader for the country and was incomparable to anyone, while also warning Zimbabweans to stay away from Arab Spring like uprisings.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
The Arab Spring saw a number of popular uprisings, which saw the ouster of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Ben Ali, who ruled their countries with iron fists for decades and were accused of trampling on the rights of their citizens.
But Grace told thousands of Zanu PF supporters at a rally in Chimanimani on Thursday that Zimbabweans must remain loyal to her husband, warning that countries that removed their strongmen were now in deep political crisis.
She said countries such as Libya, Tunisia and Egypt were “fooled” and accepted to effect regime change.
“What is important in any country is stability,” Grace said, urging youths to stay away from violence.
She accused Western nations, particularly the United States and Britain of manipulating many countries to influence regime change all in a bid to loot resources.
In Libya Grace said the citizens of that country were not doing much work, but were handsomely paid from proceeds of oil under Gaddafi’s rule. She said they were now struggling under a new leader.
In Tunisia as well, the First Lady claimed there was no more stability, a development that forced the upcoming International Conference on Aids and STI’s in Africa (ICASA) to be moved to Zimbabwe.
“They did the same to Libya because it has oil and they invaded there saying Gaddafi was killing his own people and he is not taking good care of them,” she said, repeating a well-known story, whose accuracy has long been questioned. “But let me tell you this, when Gaddafi was there, the Libyans were peaceful and they were being given money without doing anything. Being paid for doing nothing.”
Ironically, while Grace was chiding Tunisia for instability, a group from the country yesterday was honoured with a Nobel Peace Prize for their peace efforts and stability.
Grace also took a dig at her rivals in Zanu PF, warning them to stay away from succession discussions, while also accusing them of trying to manipulate party members to topple Mugabe.
“Many times people don’t understand what it means when a person is called a leader. We have a leader who understands what it means to lead,” she said, heaping praise on her husband.
“The duty of a leader is to protect our sovereignty. That is the biggest mandate and that is why you see us choosing one leader who has a vision. Sometimes you know people will not understand why Zimbabweans keep their leader, Mugabe, who is 91 years old. President Mugabe knows why he is in that position. He is a custodian of Zimbabwe and protects it.”
Grace claimed Zimbabweans were privileged to have Mugabe as President and the country will continue to prosper under his leadership. But opposition parties and other critics blame Mugabe for singlehandedly ruining Zimbabwe in the past 35 years.
Grace said she has now developed thick skin, amid mounting internal fights in the party.