THE much-publicised Manicaland tour by Grace Mugabe lived up to its billing Thursday when the increasingly influential First Lady and top Zanu PF chefs lavished party followers with a mixed bag of freebies which included farm inputs and foods.
“Today I came loaded like never before,” she said in shona to throngs of cheering party supporters who braved the scotching heat to attend her Mutambara Mission rally in the province’s farming Cashel Valley area.
The rally was televised live on national television.
Among some of the equipment she doled out were four tractors, two planters, four ploughs, two spreaders, 240 sprayers for group use by women A1 farmers in two party districts in the province.
Cashel Valley, the hosting district also received six tractors, six ploughs, four discs, one planter, one spreader and 120 sprayers, among the farm inputs.
The machinery, she said, was sourced by government from Belarus, Brazil, China and India to jumpstart government’s ambitious ZimAsset programme.
The donation also came with beds for distribution among provincial hospitals, 25,000 litres of cooking oil, 3,000 bars of washing soap, 3,120 tablets of bath soap and 240kg washing power.
The Zanu PF women’s league chair also donated 200 boxes of new clothing, 4,358 pairs of shoes, 436 school bags, 119 handbags and 280 blankets.
Also forming part of the grand donation were 100 tonnes Compound D fertiliser which she accompanied with a promise for more. She further delivered 100 tonnes ammonium nitrate.
“You will make merry with abundant foodstuff which is here,” said the first lady.
She further donated 50 tonnes of rice, 250 tonnes of maize, declaring no one from the eastern province shall starve when she was there.
Local chiefs were not left out as they were glutted with brand new suits, 15 blankets, 200 litres of fuel and 2000 more litres which they were supposed to administered under the traditional Zunde Ramambo scheme.
Not to be outdone were party provincial heavy-weights Oppah Muchinguri and Supa Mandiwanzira who also donated abundantly.
Muchinguri donated a beast which was slaughtered during the gathering, 56 beehives for projects, 1000 litres of diesel, roofing material and cases of water for the rally.
On his part, party provincial spokesperson and ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira railroaded state-owned telecoms companies to donate 30 tonnes of cement to build a computer lab for the local community and pledged 15 computers for use at the facility, 30 tonnes of roofing material comprising 3000 sheets for the lab, more computers for the local school.
He further donated a brand new mobile post office for Chimanimani, 1000 litres of fuel.
During the rally, top provincial leaders in the party took turns to eulogise the President’s wife for her kindness.
Other party politicians who accompanied Grace to her rally were Vice President Phekelezela Mphoko; cabinet ministers, Christopher Mutsvangwa, Samuel Undenge, Mandy Chimene, Edna Madzongwe, Chris Mushohwe and Saviour Kasukuwere.