NewsDay is in Maphisa where First Lady and Zanu PF Women’s League boss, Grace Mugabe is conducting her fourth political rally during the current leg of her ‘Meet the People ‘tours’. Previously Grace held rallies in Mbare, Mberengwa and Murehwa.
13:18: The donations are as follows:
- Maize 220 tonnes
- Rice 120 tonnes
- Maize for drought relief 50 kg per household to be obtained from GMB
- 4 434 kg washing powder
- 5 000 kg bales of clothing
- 2 000 pairs of shoes
- 5 280 bars bathing soap
- 3000 kg salt from her son Russell Goreraza
- Soccer kits for children in secondary schools.
- Tractors for irrigation schemes
13:13: The Women’s League boss is happy that there is no factionalism in Matabeleland South.
13:07: Grace is now explaining the concept of beneficiation of mineral ores.
13:00 There are truckloads of food to be distributed as usual. Grace chides the Mat South chairperson for not paying attention to her speech. Many officials are not paying attention to he speech but instead they are roaming around or standing in small groups far away from their sitting positions.
12:50-13:00: The mega-deals signed between Zimbabwe and China are part of the ZimAsset cluster on Social services. The Chinese are going to assist in building and upgrading health centres. They have also been assisting in the digitisation process for broadcasting. Under the mega-deals, an expansion project will be carried out at Hwange Power Station where two units will be added which will provide 600MW of power. These units are expected to ease power shortages being experienced by the country. Grace hails Hails China for agreements which will benefit Zimbabwe. Tractors are expected to come from Belarus for A2 farmers> An aviation agreement has also been signed with China.
Grace says there are rogue elements sabotaging Zim Asset. The sourcing of the equipment demonstrates government’s commitment to food security. “Zimbabwe could once again be bread basket if tractors and other equipment sourced by government is fully utilised.”
12:40 “The Western countries are now begging China for assistance yet they used to mock Mugabe for doing the same.” Grace says China has been Zimbabwe’s all weather friend since liberation war.
12:30-12:40: Grace alludes to President Robert Mugabe ‘s State visit to China and presented ZimAsset where he placed emphasis on food security. In Brazil Mugabe also appealed for assistance with food security. Assistance came in the form of tractors from Brazil. Grace cites food security as being key under ZimAsset.
12-25:1230 Absalom Sikhosana accuses NGOs of short changing people giving them rotten food handouts. Grace says non governmental organisations’ agenda is to turn people against Zanu PF.”Food handouts are not the answer to poverty,” she says. Grace urges the people to demand the removal of sanctions. She blames NGOs and hold them responsible for sanctions.
12: 20-12:25: Grace continues to invoke Joshua Nkomo’s name as a unifying force. Some people are walking out as Grace makes her address. The First Lady acknowledges drought in the arid province.
12:18: Not more than 2 500 people are at the Maphisa rally. Fired ex -Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Andrew Langa is in attendance.
12:15: Grace repeats Zanu PF rhetoric on sanctions: She blames sanctions for the closure of industries in Bulawayo. According to her Zanu PF was falsely accused of human rights violations by Western countries.
12: 05 : Grace explains the suffering Nkomo went through to liberate Zimbabwe from colonial rule. She thanks Nkomo for the sacrifice they made through their selfless dedication to the struggle.
“These people suffered but they were not selfish.”
12: 03:” We came to the province but we were in Gwanda in 2013 campaigning … and won all 13 constituencies” Grace says. She says the province is historically important because the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo hailed from Matabeleland South. In order for Nkomo’s soul to continue to rest in peace we must maintain unity.
12:03: Grace bursts into song. She sings in Ndebele “Umoyo wangu uyandinga ….udinga wena oMaphisa (My heart desires Maphisa)
12:00: Grace takes to the podium and is going through protocol.
11:59: There is a brief musical interlude with entertainment being provided by the police band who are dressed in apostolic regalia and are dancing to ‘Unconquerable’
11:55:Kasukuwere says Grace is in Matabeleland South to thank the people for their undying love and loyalty to Mugabe and Zanu PF and hence she has brought them an ‘Xmas box.’
11:37: The Zanu PF National Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere takes to the podium.
11:37: The State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi is in attendance.
Tomorrow the First Lady is expected to touch down in Masvingo for her fifth Zanu PF rally.
The First Lady’s rallies have turned into donating frenzies since she has been distributing various farm implements such as tractors and food items.
Grace ‘s speeches leave no stone unturned as she often launches vitriolic attacks on former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies, and the private media.