Be positive, First Lady urges media
Elita Chikwati Harare Bureau
The First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe has urged local media to portray a positive picture of the country in order to promote investment.
She said this at her 51st birthday celebrations and handover ceremony of goods donated to various children’s homes at Mazowe Children’s Home.
Dr Mugabe donated foodstuffs that included mealie-meal, cooking oil, beans, washing soap and salt to 50 children’s homes and cash amounting to $50 000.
Recipients included Harare Children’s Home, Kapota School for the Blind, Makumbi Children’s home, Hurungwe Children’s Home, Ekhaya Children’s Home and Blue Hills among others.
Dr Mugabe said some media houses were in the habit of peddling lies ignoring positive developments in the country and this scared investors.
“Why can’t you speak of the good work I am doing? The media is awash with bad coverage day in day out. But I do not mind. We all have a role to sell our country and the way we brand Zimbabwe is very important.
“If you say Zimbabwe is a rogue state, you know what it means and what the negativism brings. It brings suffering. Always say positive things about your country. You will see also positive things shaping up. I do not understand sometimes the way we think. It does not matter who you are and whatever you are doing as long as you are a Zimbabwean, you remain Zimbabwean.
She said Zimbabweans should utilise their skills to build the nation.
“It is up to what we do with what we have. This is what we have, the beautiful Zimbabwe endowed with a lot of riches. What is it that we can do to improve our lives as Zimbabweans?
“We should work and exploit what God has given us together as Zimbabweans. Chara chimwe hachitswanye inda. We must all make concerted efforts to work for Zimbabwe,” she said.
Dr Mugabe said people have been talking of a good Zimbabwe and this could be achieved if Zimbabweans work together.
She said there were positive developments taking place in the country which were worth covering including her efforts in looking after children at Mazowe Children’s Home.
“Now I want to show people, and invite people to see development in our country and in Mazowe. Media houses should do their job of selling Zimbabwe. Others, especially ZBC and Judith Makwanya are doing that. We want to court investors to come and work with us here.
“How do we court them if we are posting negative things about Zimbabwe? Who is attracted to bad things? We are all attracted to things that make us happy, things that make us comfortable. And here, I am doing things that you can be proud of as Zimbabweans. You can tell others about what your First Lady is doing instead of just dwelling on things that bring disunity.
“United we stand divided we fall. Some of the negative things we face as a nation, such as sanctions, were called for by Zimbabweans and people are suffering because one of us called upon Western countries to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe,” she said.
Dr Mugabe said Western countries were not democratic as they imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe for no reason.
She applauded Zimbabweans for being resilient even under hard times.
“We continue to pray and all this will come to pass one day and am very optimistic that God is on our side. We are suffering but we are resilient. Let us not despair when times are hard. But we should remain focused as a nation. One day we will prosper as a nation.
“Detractors peddle lies. They say I have cancer and am dying. Everyone gets sick at one point in time. I am also a human being. I will continue working hard and I will not be deterred or distracted because I have determination,” she said.
Dr Mugabe said Zimbabwe had been under attack from the international community but said the land reform was unavoidable and could not have been done any other way.
“There is no other better way we could have approached the land reform. It is not easy to take the land. There will be some resistance.We have the land and we are proud. The land gives us a sense of belonging.
“The land is our heritage and we should also reserve it for the future generations. Everyone should thrive to have a piece of land. If you have land, you are your own boss. Our children and grandchildren should continue to benefit from the land,” she said.
Dr Mugabe also took her guests along the journey of the establishment of the Mazowe Children’s Home and the challenges she faced. She said the journey was not so rosy but now she had succeeded. A high school is under construction that will have an intake of 1 000 students.
She encouraged men to be responsible and said it was due to irresponsibility that some children were at children’s homes. Dr Mugabe also said that her children’s home had always been her vision to assist the disadvantaged and applauded other children’s homes for their sterling job in looking after the disadvantaged children.
In attendance was her son-in-law Mr Simba Chikore and her daughter Mrs Bona Chikore and their son Simbanashe.
Dr Mugabe said it was unfortunate that after Bona got married, she miscarried twins.
“We were disheartened but we continued to pray and now we have a grandson. It has always been my prayer and wish that President Mugabe sees his grandchildren.”
Mashonaland Central Minister of State, Advocate Martin Dinha, Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare, Cde Prisca Mupfumira, senior Government officials and children from children’s homes from the country’s 10 provinces, among others attended the ceremony.