Harare – Notice anything about President Robert Mugabe’s Christmas card this year – apart from the fact it’s been delivered VERY late?
Zimbabwe opposition MP Jessie Majome took to Facebook to share a snap of the card, which she says was delivered to her pigeonhole in parliament on January 23.
See Majome’s Facebook post and the picture of the Chrismas card below.
The photo shows a dour Mugabe standing in the background next to a seated smiling Grace.
While it’s traditional for politicians – and royals – around the world to share pictures of their families at Christmas, avid Zimbabwe watchers will wonder if there’s any significance to the fact that Grace is very clearly the focus of the picture.
There’s been much speculation that she is aiming for the presidency in the event of her nearly-93-year-old husband dying or stepping down.
The ruling party women’s league leader – who’s wearing strappy shoes, a yellow flared skirt and what looks like a black and white dogtooth jacket in the photo – is more than 40 years the Zimbabwe president’s junior.
Part of the text in the card reads: “On the occasion of Christmas and the New Year, let us remember to share the little we have with those who are less fortunate than ourselves within our communities and at the same time pray that the year ahead brings better prospects to all Zimbabweans.”
The first lady is currently embroiled in a scandal over a $1.3m ring that she says her husband saved up for as a wedding anniversary present.
Commenting on the late delivery of her card, Majome wrote: “I was embarrassed (in the legal sense of not knowing how to respond) as my Christmas is now a distant memory and I can’t exactly wish them in return a merry Xmas unless I do so for 2017.”
“I can only wonder what this tardiness means for good governance,” Majome, the MP for Harare West constituency, added.
It was not clear if all other Zimbabwe MPs got their card from the Mugabes as late as Majome did.
Dear Harare Westerners
HARARE WEST PARLIAMENTARY INFORMATION SERVICE 1/24/17
My year at Parliamentof Zimbabwe started yesterday after a pre Christmas adjournment with this Christmas card placed in my pigeon hole on 23 January by his Excellency the President of the Republic and his fair wife. I was embarrassed (in the legal sense of not knowing how to respond) as my Christmas is now a distant memory and I can’t exactly wish them in return a merry Xmas unless I do so for 2017. I’m sure they did have a happy one.
I can only wonder what this tardiness means for good governance. Sign of the times?
We’re busy with the late 2017 budget stakeholder consultations that is expected to be passed this week. I dutifully drafted my Justice Legal & Parliamentary portfolio committee. The same woeful tale of reduction by about 14%! Gross underfunding, drowning in debt from previous years, no capital budget unaccountability, – in short, miserable and hopeless – a miserly 3.8 billion budget. Zambia with a population of 14 million like ours has a $14 billlion 2017 budget.
Today I just debated on the Reserve Bank Amendment Bill to ‘introduce’ bond notes.
I questioned their legality through the constitutionality of the Presidential Powers Regulations and failure to obtain the constitutionally mandated approval for the $200 million Afreximbank loan ‘backing’.
I’m going to present my committee’s report tomorrow on the budget probably as my last act as the portfolio committee chair before ZANU PF takes over.
Jessie Fungayi Majome