Reports that First Lady Grace Mugabe is using goods confiscated by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to pamper only Zanu PF supporters in a barely disguised vote-buying gimmick are unfortunate and point to clear fraud that should be investigated thoroughly.
Source: Grace’s vote-buying antics will backfire – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 11, 2017
Comment: NewsDay Editor
What Grace probably needs to know is that the millions of people who have lost their goods at the country’s various ports of entry could have failed to raise the required duty.
These are honest hearted Zimbabweans trying to eke out a living and support their families in the aftermath of her husband President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s destructive policies that have resulted in the closure of industries.
Because there are no initiatives by Mugabe’s administration to create employment for the majority, Zimbabweans have resorted to vending to look after their families.
Yet, by the mere fact that Grace is now using the confiscated goods to buy votes for her fractious Zanu PF party, she is criminalising hard work.
Hence, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s concern over how Grace has been using the Zimra goods resonates with every suffering Zimbabwean. It could have been better if Grace were to supposedly stamp her authority and give the majority whose goods were confiscated a reprieve.
It really doesn’t make sense that the confiscated goods would be used to woo Zanu PF supporters in a false move of benevolence. Such conduct, really, is unacceptable and creates the impression that Grace and her acolytes are above the law contrary to the country’s constitutional provisions.
Ironically, Zanu PF is not known for having the people’s interests at heart, so how is it then that Grace pretends to be “Mother Christmas” at their expense?
We have no doubt that Grace’s shenanigans are part of Zanu PF’s game plan to steal the crunch 2018 elections from whosoever will contest against them.
Clearly, Tsvangirai’s fears are legitimate, though, he and other opposition party leaders should not always be cry-babies. They should adopt a fighting spirit, and stop these machinations immediately. How they will implement their plan is their business, Zimbabweans want a leader who has their interests at heart.
Perhaps, Zanu PF should be warned that dishing out government-sourced food hampers, agricultural inputs and stands to supporters at its rallies is no solution to the country’s long-running economic, social and political crisis.
Those trinkets will soon be gone and – most probably – the stands are reclaimed. The supporters will continue in the vicious cycle of poverty that can only be broken through sound economic management and good governance.
The fact that Grace herself confessed at a recent rally in Buhera that the goods she distributed during her whirlwind tours were confiscated by Zimra from smugglers and importers who failed to pay customs duty is not only scandalous, but an indictment on her part.
We believe if she had a strong moral fibre and sense of justice, she would have been ashamed of herself. This is no different from a person that donates stolen property. In fact, that merchandise should have reverted to the State, not to Zanu PF.
Even Zanu PF supporters themselves should know that this is no longer the time to bury their heads in the sand like ostriches. They must wake up and smell the coffee.
Please, Madame Grace, your claim that you could not go to the people empty-handed is nonsensical because the goods being distributed do not belong to you in the first place.
You should return to the State all that you distributed, Period!