Sunday, 10 July 2016

GRACE FEARS UPRISING

First Lady Grace Mugabe yesterday said she feared Zimbabwe could slip into turmoil similar to the uprisings that toppled dictators in North Africa.
Grace told a Zanu PF Harare inter-district meeting that Zimbabweans must learn from countries such as Libya and Iraq and stop entertaining forces that might lead to chaos.

Libya and Egypt were part of the countries affected by the so-called Arab Spring, a period of a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests that ignited civil unrest in many countries to force their leaders out of power.

Last week Zimbabweans staged a hugely successful stayaway dubbed #ShutdownZimbabwe, which was coordinated by #Thisflag movement, Tajamuka/Sesijikile and Occupy Africa Unity Square.

One of their demands was that President Robert Mugabe must step down for failing to stop the country’s economic collapse.

#This Flag founder Pastor Evan Mawarire has called for another round of stayaways on Wednesday and Thursday to force Mugabe’s government to address their demands. The First Lady was at pains to persuade Zanu PF members not to join the protests.

“We must take a cue from what happened in Libya, Iraq, Egypt and other countries,” Grace said.

The First Lady said people were lied to that Iraqi’s Saddam Hussein was bad and had weapons of mass destruction and now there was no peace in that country anymore.

She said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair must go for trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the chaos that erupted in Iraq after the death of Hussein. Ironically, some Zimbabweans feel her husband should be dragged to the ICC for his role in the Gukurahundi atrocities in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

Grace said Zimbabwe must not be hoodwinked and engage in violence as it will bring untold suffering to the country.

“Let us not be hoodwinked by our detractors because we know there are some governments that don’t like us and they will give money to sponsor a stay away,” she claimed.

“If we embark on a stay-way they would be busy manufacturing and their economies prospering yet things will halt in our country. If we calculate how much we lost through the stay away you will be surprised how much we lost.

“Let’s not allow people who want to destroy us to come between us and do things without applying our minds fully.

“I am happy that a lot of people just stayed in their houses without engaging in violence. Let’s not destroy our properties.”

Grace defended the government’s decision to ban the importation of certain goods arguing the country could not continue being a consumer economy.

She said small to medium enterprises should be fully supported and that Zimbabwe needs to jump start the manufacturing sector so that they manage to create employment and build the economy.

“We cannot be a consumer economy, no, we cannot be buying from other countries to promote their economies,” she said.
“People should understand that. This (ban) is the only way we can create employment.


“We need the manufacturing sector to be working. We cannot allow Zimbabwe to be a supermarket economy.”

Grace also admitted that Zanu PF erred by allowing houses to be demolished. In Harare alone, hundreds of houses were demolished by Harare City Council.

Last year Mugabe ordered the demolition of houses along Airport road. But Grace said all that was irrational.

“Such issues are clear example that people are sleeping on duty. There are people sleeping on duty,” she thundered.

“You see everything happening, houses being built and then demolished.

“We know most councillors in Harare are MDC-T but why do we let (demolitions) to happen. We should take blame,” Grace added amid thunderous applause.

“I am also a builder and I cannot have a property I sweated for being demolished by a bulldozer. Are we building or destroying the party. We don’t want to pain each other to such levels.”

Grace urged Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere to take heed and ensure that demolitions were not done again.

She described demolitions as unfair especially considering that the majority of people were struggling to build the houses.

“If I ask what became of those people whose houses were demolished?

“Why do we leave it happening, everyone see the houses being built and why then are the houses demolished afterwards. No please. We should admit where we erred and on this matter we erred big time,” Grace said.

Kasukuwere has donated land to Zanu PF youths and the women’s league where about 125 000 housing units are set to be built.

Grace also heaped praise on Zanu PF deputy secretary for youth Kudzi Chipanga and asked him to rescue the youth wing from wayward behaviour that was being exhibited when some youths insulted the First Family.

The First Lady also went into overdrive attacking Zimbabwe People First leader Joice Mujuru calling her a hypocrite.

She said Mujuru was not being clever by attacking Zanu PF yet all along she was part of the government that crafted policies she was now critical of..

Grace said Mujuru should tell the nation how she “stole” elections.

She claimed it was through Zanu PF’s mercy that she was let off the hook on numerous alleged crimes she committed as there was overwhelming evidence against her.

Grace said Zimbabwe must not be hoodwinked into engaging in violence as it would bring untold suffering to the country.

“Let us not be hoodwinked by our detractors because we know there are some governments that don’t like us and they will give money to sponsor a stayaway,” she claimed.

“If we embark on a stayaway, they would be busy manufacturing and their economies prospering yet things will halt in our country. If we calculate how much we lost through the stayaway, you will be surprised how much we lost.

“Let’s not allow people who want to destroy us to come between us and do things without applying our minds fully.

“I am happy that a lot of people just stayed in their houses without engaging in violence. Let’s not destroy our properties.”

Grace defended the government’s decision to ban the importation of certain goods, arguing the country could not continue being a consumer economy.

She said small to medium enterprises should be fully supported and that Zimbabwe needed to jumpstart the manufacturing sector in order to create employment and build the economy.

“We cannot be a consumer economy, no, we cannot be buying from other countries to promote their economies,” she said.

“People should understand that. This [ban] is the only way we can create employment.

“We need the manufacturing sector to be working. We cannot allow Zimbabwe to be a supermarket economy.”

Grace also admitted that Zanu PF erred by allowing houses to be demolished. In Harare alone, hundreds of houses were demolished by Harare City Council.

Last year Mugabe ordered the demolition of houses along the Joshua Nkomo Express Way (Airport Road) which Grace was complaining about.

But Grace said all that was irrational. standard

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