via ‘Hungry journalists’ get rice from Grace – NewZimbabwe 28/11/2015
JOURNALISTS who were promised rice by the First Lady Grace Mugabe were finally invited to collect their allocations from Zimbabwe House last Thursday but some were stunned to find signatures against their names, suggesting they had already picked up their portions.
During her nation-wide rallies where she doled out millions of dollars in goodies to Zanu PF supporters, Grace complained bitterly about negative coverage of her activities in the media.
She particularly targeted the private press, wondering whether journalists were angry because they were hungry.
She offered to give the scribes rice to mitigate the starvation when she addressed a rally in Harare’s impoverished Mbare neighbourhood.
Said the president’s wife then: “Journalist from Daily News, Newsday (The Zimbabwe) Independent, you are all my children and I like you.
“I know you can’t do without me, I’m back! If you hear them making noise, you know they are hungry. They want food so they can write stores.
“I have brought rice for you – nyorwai mazita (register your names to get the rice).”
At another campaign stop in Marondera, she threatened to take back her rice if the negative coverage continued.
“Why are you doing that (writing negatively about me)? Is it hunger? Let us give each other respect. Hokoyo ndinokudhuzha (Be careful, I will deal with you),” she said.
The First Lady delivered on her promise Thursday, journalists who put their names on the list confirmed.
Most of the beneficiaries were said to be from the state-owned media.
The handouts included 50kg bag of Chinese rice, 2 litres of cooking oil, 2 bars of green soap and 2kg washing powder all South African products.
But the First Lady’s largesse was also affected by the corruption now rife in the country.
The initial list had 20 scribes but the numbers were somehow bumped up to 50; the additions not from the media, it was claimed.
One journalist from the private media who was called last Thursday to get his grocery said he was shocked when he got there and found his name signed against.
“They said I had already collected my grocery because I had signed.
“When I showed them my signature on another paper they did not believe I hadn’t collected. I left empty-handed,” said journalist who do not want to be named.
Another journalist said he was shocked when he got there that the list had gone up to 50.
“I was surprised to see journalists from the state media who never cover First Lady’s rallies but only sports were now on the list.”
But the grocery has also divided the media with some scribes saying journalists should not get food handouts from politicians.
“We do not say anything when some of our colleagues are getting these ‘things’ from prophets, politicians and other business people and they call it token of appreciation.
“So what’s wrong getting it from Dr Amai openly,” said a reporter who defended Grace’s generosity.