via Grace Mugabe hammers police 06/10/2014
GRACE Mugabe has hit out at the police, telling them to stop harassing struggling vendors.
Cops, she added, must pay for goods like everyone else instead of organising raids in order to grab freebies when they ran out of tomatoes at home.
The First Lady picked out a popular target in the police Monday as she continued her countrywide star rallies which will take her to all the country’s ten provinces – something nobody else in the ruling Zanu PF party ever does apart from her husband, President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing supporters at her latest campaign stop in Gweru, Grace said it was hard enough for vendors to try and put food on the table for their families in a difficult economy, adding the police must stop making their plight worse.
“They are being chased away like people who are mentally challenged. The police should engage women and talk this thing out. Women are being troubled by your actions of chasing them away whenever they want to sell their goods.”
She then attacked the police culture of demanding freebies, telling them that they draw salaries from the government and must pay their way like everybody else.
Vendors across the country regularly get raided by police for allegedly operating in non-designated areas and all manner of alleged offences. Their wares are seized during the raids and never returned.
“They say police officers don’t want to pay for anything, they just organise a raid if they want tomatoes and onions,” said the First Lady.
“That is what I heard. Stop doing that. This is not how it’s done in business. We have never refused to sell to you. Pay for the goods because you are paid salaries.”
“It is not good to take people’s goods when they are trying to fend for their families. It is not easy to bring food on the table for our families.”
Zimbabweans have watched with interest as a woman previously dismissed as a rather extravagant consort to the president – but no more – curiously causes waves in the wrangling ruling party.
She has been nominated for, and is certain to take-over, as head of the party’s Women’s League and, with that, a seat in Zanu PF’s powerful politburo.
Few however, believe that to be the full sum of her political ambitions.
Zanu PF is bitterly divided over who will succeed Mugabe, the veteran leader weighed down by poor health and age, having turned 90 this year.
But analysts say Grace is now a factor in the succession stakes but what her precise game plan and ultimate goal remains to be seen.