PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangawa’s smuggling of his wife Auxillia to be among recipients of national honours, left tongues wagging as this was tantamount to abuse of office, or worse still taking bedroom chemistry too far.
Mnangagwa on Monday presented Auxillia with the Order of the Star of Zimbabwe gold medal for her “philanthropic work”.
What boggles the mind is that Mnangagwa pampered his wife with a national medal at the expense of deserving philanthropists, who have contributed to the development of the country better and far longer than her.
What philanthropic work has she done that deserves a national medal and for her to rub shoulders with esteemed but unsung heroes and heroines, who meaningfully contributed to the development of the country?
We fear that Mnangagwa and Auxillia will make the same mistake that led to the downfall of the late former President Robert Mugabe, when the former First Lady used her philanthropic work to launch a bedroom coup.
It seems Mnangagwa and Auxillia are using the Mugabe template, which led in part to his downfall. Mnangagwa has taken the game too far by awarding his wife a medal of national honour when her work does not merit it.
Since Mnangagwa’s ascendancy to the throne through a coup in 2017, Auxillia has been gallivanting from place to place doing even menial work that belittles her status as the country’s First Lady.
Of course, some of her humanitarian work is praiseworthy, for instance, donating food to needy communities, looking after the vulnerable and encouraging women to sustain themselves but that does not warrant a national award because there are more deserving people.
We question the criterion that was used to honour such heroes and heroines with medals of national importance.
Mnangagwa has to come clean on how his government rewarded his wife with a medal.
His claim that: “The exceptional sacrifices made by some of our leaders, with a view to extolling their motivational, epoch-defining feats and enduring attributes deserve immortalisation,” does not justify why Auxillia was handed the medal.
We urge Mnangagwa to know that immortalising his wife at the expense of deserving candidates will haunt him one day. This is utter abuse of office -NEWSDAY