Since last year, when she first began to address public gatherings, Grace has been nothing but an embarrassment to the nation. Her choice of words is hardly befitting for someone who is supposed to be the First Lady and a role model for all citizens.
Just recently, we were taken aback when Grace seemed to be legitimising commercial sex work – which remains not only illegal in Zimbabwe, but is regarded an anti-social activity. Addressing a gathering in Binga, where she commissioned a water project, she urged men who needed sex to resort to commercial sex workers. While she was right in castigating men who go for sex with young girls, she missed the point completely by offering them the option of commercial sex.
Said Grace: â€œDonâ€™t rape minors, prostitutes are there…Isnâ€™t it a fact that prostitutes have been allowed to freely do their work?â€
What is particularly disturbing is that the public mediaâ€”television includedâ€”are comprehensively covering Graceâ€™s tours. This means that young and impressionable youths are being exposed to bad messages from the presidentâ€™s wife. To start with, Grace was wrong to say prostitution had been legtimised here. The Constitutional Court only ruled that women considered to be soliciting sex for commercial gain must not be arrested as that denied them their freedom of movement.
The two issues are different. She is therefore promoting a misleading and poisonous message as our youths will grow up thinking that prostitution is legally and socially acceptable, when in fact it is not. Is it not embarrassing that the wife of the president lacks the decency and capacity to properly interpret legal decisions?
In the past, Grace has also used improper language that she seemed to get away with easily. At one time, she controversially called for men who abused girls and women to be castrated and at another stage she made vulgar insinuations about running stomachs that must never be tolerated, especially in public. The problem with such disgraceful utterances is that, in addition to contaminating our children and other members of society, it sends out the wrong messages about the leadership in Zimbabwe.
It becomes shameful to be associated with our leadership and that is one of the reasons why Zimbabweans are now considered to be unpatriotic – they feel it is degrading to be associated with a government whose leaders lack moral uprightness.
Mugabeâ€™s on-going silence – as his wife is busy uttering vulgar, anti-social statements â€“ speaks loudly indeed.
President Robert Mugabeâ€™s wife Grace needs to go back to school for grooming in good public manners, otherwise she will poison our youths with her careless speech.