First lady, Grace Mugabe yesterday revealed that Gushungo dairy Estates owes banks over 20 million that they used to kick start operations. She revealed the debt as she urged the wives of the chiefs to start their own income generation projects. She said they started the business on a small scale but now it has since ballooned into a massive project.
Grace Mugabe, who is the owner of Gushungo diary Estates was speaking during a function to endorse her candidature for the Women’s League job by Traditional Chiefs at her children’s home in Mazowe. Grace also thanked Oppah Muchinguri for willingly relinquishing her post.
“I want to thank you for your support but also I want to thank Cde Muchinguri because what she did is rare in life,” she said. “It is like donating your kidney to someone.”
She said she never aspired to be a politician but she was requested by women who converged at her children’s home asking her to work with them.
“I had no interest in politics but some time ago some people came to me requesting me to work with them in the Women’s League. I asked them why but they insisted. Later a multitude of women came of their own volition appealing for me to work with them,” said the First Lady.
She told the women and the youths that she was ready to work with the women but it was up to the President to decide as the appointing authority if she was fit for the post. She chronicled how she started the children’s home and how she built a school there. The construction of the school gobbled $7 million,” said
the First Lady, while another huge chunk of money went towards the construction of 30 modern houses.
She said the philanthropic work that she was doing was not for her benefit but for the country.
“To be honest I will never go and learn in this school, neither will I stay in these houses. I am doing it for future generations and the rest of Zimbabwe,” she said.
Plans were under way to build a hospital, a multi-purpose hall and the Robert Mugabe University in Mazowe.
Turning to societal issues, the First Lady bemoaned high levels of moral decadence which was resulting in baby dumping. So far she is looking after 78 children at her home.
“We started with 15 children. But I wonder what is happening in our children and the men who impregnate women and refuse to take responsibility. We now had 82 children since 2011 in that short period of time. It shows there is something wrong in society. Baby dumping
was rare in Zimbabwe,” she said.
The chiefs had an opportunity to tour the First Lady’s children’s home, her school and the Gushungo Dairy Farm. Chief Charumbira said even in America, President Barack Obama’s wife Michelle supported her husband on national duties.
“In the US, President Obama’s wife, Michelle supports her husband. At Prophet (Emmanuel) Makandiwa’s church; his wife is also a prophetess. She leads proceedings in Makandiwa’s absence. Women must not leave politics to their husbands. They must get involved,” he said.
Chief Charumbira said in South Africa President Jacob Zuma used to sit in cabinet with his wife, Nkosazana.
“What we are saying is this is good and it is everywhere,” he said.
Chief Charumbira said the support from the chiefs was honest and whole-hearted because they were not involved in factional or succession politics. He said chiefs were fully behind President Mugabe adding that he should finish his five-year term of office.
“We hear about fights to succeed the President yet we voted for him last year. Who has power to remove him only a year into his term? His term is for five years. Are five years now equivalent to one year? What kind of mathematics is that? We don’t support those scheming around the matter, they want to destabilise the country,” said Chief Charumbira.