Shame on Grace for bringing women into disrepute

In the morning I always check my emails and social media for news updates. Well, by social media I am referring to Facebook in particular. And sadly, I see that Grace Mugabe’s legacy of mud-slinging on Joice Mujuru lives on.

Joice Mujuru – Her name being dragged through the mud all is detrimental to the women of Zimbabwe.
Joice Mujuru – Her name being dragged through the mud all is detrimental to the women of Zimbabwe.

I have, of late, been seeing worrying and shameful updates about all sorts of demonisation on Mujuru’s character. I am apolitical and do not support specific politicians but oh yes I do have political opinion.

As a women’s rights activist, I celebrate when a woman attains a high level appointment in politics. Even if it’s Grace Mugabe, who people love to hate for her extravagant shopping, which is in such sharp contrast to the economic situation in the country. One always wonders where the money is coming from. But that’s another story for another day.

Cheap, shallow tactics

My issue is with women entering politics using cheap and shallow tactics of backbiting, rumour mongering and mud-slinging. Moreso, if that woman is married to a president.

Now, as women we have long been struggling to break the glass ceiling because of the same reasons. We are considered nothing more than gossipers and child bearers. Whether we like it or not, these are stereotypes we have to deal with in our daily lives as women. Tired and old as they may be.

Hence the tragic thing about Grace’s entrance into politics is not only that she pushed out another woman, but that she displayed exactly the same stereotypes with which women are labelled every day.

She threw rumours, hearsay and allegations around – still to be proven up to now – and in a whirlwind right before our eyes, she was on top of the Zanu(PF) women’s league overnight. With her arrival, Joice was sent packing into oblivion – after living her entire life not only in politics but in Zanu (PF) politics.

Name-calling legacy

Having said that, it is unfortunate that Grace’s name-calling legacy is now living on and even thriving – long after she herself has disappeared from the limelight in that regard.

Grown men are falling over each other to carry on the demonisation and victimisation of Joice Mujuru. They have even taken it a step further. Joice is now the witch that caused rains not to fall! Please!

These grown men also include the President himself who, on his birthday, first accused Joice of performing witchcraft rituals while naked with Nigerian sangomas. Then the Chief N’anga, Chief Fortune Charumbira, could not miss out on the bootlicking of Grace and jumped onto the denigration band wagon – accusing Joice of having witchcraft strong enough to cause a drought!

This is tragic not only because Joice is a woman but because Grace, in her tirade to get to the top, used another woman as a trampoline and now we are left to feel the pinch as a woman of Joice’s stature is labelled a witch. Her stature is such that her name attracts international attention and news coverage.

Symbol of failure

Joice is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. She has been paraded as a symbol of failure and those that champion the exclusion of women, on the basis that women are incapable, are winning. Every day.

She is being verbally harassed at every turn and no-one is doing anything about it. Joice the woman, not the politician. I am a liberal feminist. I believe in the freedom of women and I see the word wrong painted all over the demonisation and desecration of Joice Mujuru. I also see the word impunity written all over this act because she is a woman.

Is she the first to betray the President? Or am I politically ignorant to think that the Tsholotsho declaration should have earned some men I know the same retribution? Maybe I am ignorant.

But I am not ignorant to the fact that Joice is not just another woman. Her name being dragged through the mud all over the place is detrimental to the women of Zimbabwe in general and brings down the women’s movement with it.

And it’s all Grace Mugabe’s doing. Shame on her!

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Post published in: Mugabe Succession