Chidarikire under fire over First Lady ‘joke’

chidarikire faber  25-08-08Herald Reporter
Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs Cde Faber Chidarikire has come under fire for referring to Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife as the Acting First Lady with analysts saying the minister had raised the “boot-licking bar to intolerable proportions.”

They said Cde Chidarikire’s remarks border on corruption that comes with over extending loyalty to an individual for future benefits.

Analysts said it was unheard of the world over that one can be referred to as such because the First Lady’s position was not a constitutional post, but a privilege of being the President’s wife.

Cde Chidarikire made the stunning remarks during a party thrown by Cde Prisca Mupfumira in Chinhoyi at the weekend to celebrate her elevation to the Zanu-PF Politburo and her appointment as Public Service, Labour and Social Services Minister.

This comes hot on the heels of another gaffe by the ZANU-PF secretary for production and labour Cde Josiah Hungwe who recently likened Cde Mnangagwa to Jesus Christ.

It is understood that Cde Chidarikire who was tasked to introduce Cde Auxilia Mnangagwa who was the Guest of Honour at the party, referred to her as the Acting First Lady because his husband is the Acting President since President Mugabe is away. Although Cde Chidarikire told our sister paper The Sunday Mail that it was only a joke, analysts who spoke to The Herald yesterday said Cde Chidarikire was wrong and his remarks displayed sheer ignorance of protocol.

Harare-based commentator Mr Godwine Mureriwa said: “It borders on corrupt tendencies as it is over extending loyalty to an individual and it is complicating the operations of VP Mnangagwa.

“First Lady position is not constitutional. Powers of the First Lady are merely respecting the family relationship that she has with the sitting President, thus it has no legal standing.”

Mr Mureriwa said Zimbabweans should now move beyond politics of bootlicking and sloganeering and direct their efforts towards implementation of Zim-Asset.

He said there was no reward for bootlicking as recognition was only accorded to those who worked to ensure full implementation of Government policies. Mr Mureriwa equated Cde Chidarikire’s remarks to Cde Hungwe’s hero worshipping of Cde Mnangagwa.

“It is the same mistake that was made by Cde Hungwe,” he said.

“The positions of Vice President are appointments courtesy of the President through the powers given to him by Congress.” Mr Mureriwa said there was a worrying trend in Zanu-PF that people thought that if a person was elevated to the Politburo or Presidium, he or she was next in line for the top office.

“That was the mistake that was made by the former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her cabal,” he said.

Bulawayo based analyst Dr Lawton Hikwa, said Cde Chidarikire was wrong. He said a country had only one First Lady.

“Protocol says a country has one His Excellency and the only other person who can be called by that title is an ambassador who will be representing a Head of State in another country,” he said.

“It does not occur that the spouse of His Excellency can be represented by someone even if her husband is the Acting President.

“When the Head of State is away, out of the country as is the case with us now, there is an Acting President but it does not follow that his spouse becomes the Acting First Lady.”

Dr Hikwa said it was highly likely that Cde Chidarikire’s remarks were out of total ignorance of protocol or it was mere excitement without knowing the consequences of such reckless statements.

“It is erroneous and it is unacceptable in diplomatic protocol. Possibly it was out of excitement or ignorance.”

Another analyst who refused to be named chided Cde Chidarikire saying as the President’s representative in Mashonaland West, he should be sensitive to such kind of jokes.

“Assuming that it was a genuine joke, Cde Chidarikire should, as a senior Government official in the province, know the repercussion that comes with such statements,” said the analyst.

“We expect people of his stature to respect the First Lady and that should not be allowed in future.”

Recently, Cde Hungwe drew a backlash after he referred to Cde Mnangagwa as the Son of Man with analysts saying such statements could result in multiple centres of power.

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  • Chando!

    Nyika inobudirira sei when even journalists spew such nonsense!!!

    • Judas Iscariot

      This indeed is a bunch of garbage,you are trying to distruct us from bread and butter issues,such as civil servants who are yet to receive their bonuses.This is nonsense.

  • Chando!

    Nyika inobudirira sei when even journalists spew such nonsense!!!

  • cash talk

    I think this is becoming too much to the point of being stupid. We cant have people excited and in a light mood at a party? Everything has to be protocol…its a party during festive season for crying out loud!

    • Hurungudo

      Fully agree here. Tofara sei? We can’t even joke with the President? Protocol? What protocol pamabiko? Haiwa tibvirei apa! Chidarikire was joking and he said so in public. Imimi vari kuti Chidarikire was out of order ndimi the chief bootlickers. Hapana kana nenyaya yese apa. Kana Dr. Grace vadzoka muvabvunze kuti zvinovarwadza here kuti there was someone who was jokingly referred to as the “acting First Lady”.

    • Hurungudo

      Fully agree here. Tofara sei? We can’t even joke with the President? Protocol? What protocol pamabiko? Haiwa tibvirei apa! Chidarikire was joking and he said so in public. Imimi vari kuti Chidarikire was out of order ndimi the chief bootlickers. Hapana kana nenyaya yese apa. Kana Dr. Grace vadzoka muvabvunze kuti zvinovarwadza here kuti there was someone who was jokingly referred to as the “acting First Lady”.

    • Hurungudo

      Fully agree here. Tofara sei? We can’t even joke with the President? Protocol? What protocol pamabiko? Haiwa tibvirei apa! Chidarikire was joking and he said so in public. Imimi vari kuti Chidarikire was out of order ndimi the chief bootlickers. Hapana kana nenyaya yese apa. Kana Dr. Grace vadzoka muvabvunze kuti zvinovarwadza here kuti there was someone who was jokingly referred to as the “acting First Lady”.

    • Hurungudo

      Fully agree here. Tofara sei? We can’t even joke with the President? Protocol? What protocol pamabiko? Haiwa tibvirei apa! Chidarikire was joking and he said so in public. Imimi vari kuti Chidarikire was out of order ndimi the chief bootlickers. Hapana kana nenyaya yese apa. Kana Dr. Grace vadzoka muvabvunze kuti zvinovarwadza here kuti there was someone who was jokingly referred to as the “acting First Lady”.

  • cash talk

    I think this is becoming too much to the point of being stupid. We cant have people excited and in a light mood at a party? Everything has to be protocol…its a party during festive season for crying out loud!

  • Doc

    Just a quick one Mr Mureriwa: are there certain levels of bootlicking that are tolerable? And if there are such levels what do they serve?

    • Kushinga

      Just reading between the lines, this condemnation by Mr Mureriwa simply appears to be a fine example of First Lady bootlicking.

    • Kushinga

      Just reading between the lines, this condemnation by Mr Mureriwa simply appears to be a fine example of First Lady bootlicking.

    • Kushinga

      Just reading between the lines, this condemnation by Mr Mureriwa simply appears to be a fine example of First Lady bootlicking.

    • Kushinga

      Just reading between the lines, this condemnation by Mr Mureriwa simply appears to be a fine example of First Lady bootlicking.

  • Doc

    Just a quick one Mr Mureriwa: are there certain levels of bootlicking that are tolerable? And if there are such levels what do they serve?

  • brave

    everyone wants to be in Munangagwa’s camp. its a political blue chip in Zanu pf at the moment. everyone is afraid of the Mujuru label. lets understand this chap!

    • Peacemaker

      Acting First lady hooo I never knew kudzidza hakuperi

  • clicli

    aftr ol wats rong wit t?? wat harm did t coz. i c nuthin rong wit t. prob s w politicisin everythin even things ment to b jokes. y cant w muv ovr thoz things as a country and stop bringin pety isues in2 th nus paper. myb som1 s nw fytn vp indiectly again

  • Ray Mbada

    Tell us about bonus civil servants are crying out there! Busy brewing differences that will not bring bread on anyone’s table but unrest.

  • Craig

    very stupid and childish, it was far much better if you had covered the party in full details instead of blowing everything out of proportion like that, why spoil the fun now?. im so embarrassed by the way persons of Dr Hwikwa’s stature and all those ‘analysts’ could stoop so low publicly and yet be so proud of it. jump up doc and be your self. stiff naked fools

  • Progressive Zimbabwean

    Sometimes as journalists we tend to fan unnecessary hatred or fan feelings of discontent amongst an otherwise peace loving people. I am an ardent reader of the Herald and Sunday Mail and always buy the paper on street corners despite my access to the electronic version on either my desktop or my mobile phone. This issue with all due respect does not warrant such prominence in our paper. Surely, the Sunday Mail of yesterday was talk of the community over this headline. Most people saw this as some kind of a joke by the paper as they felt there were more important issues that could have been the focus such as the daily cry for an end to mandatory blending of fuel with ethanol or the issue of power generation or the very controversial issue of amendment of the labour laws. Other important issues centre around road accidents and the state of our infrastructure both road and rail. Also worrying are issues around Ebola and cholera to the extent that these are affecting tourism. We need to reduce our focus on personalities and focus on issues of national interest. There will be life long after we are all gone and we should live to make life better for our children.

    • Professional Zimbabwean

      Well said. I could also add that we need to work on our mining, tourism, manufacturing and education system. Service delivery such as garbage collection and water need to be looked at as well. So are issues around governance both in the private and public sectors need scrutiny. These are issues in addition to what you have said that need our collective focus. Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.

    • Professional Zimbabwean

      Well said. I could also add that we need to work on our mining, tourism, manufacturing and education system. Service delivery such as garbage collection and water need to be looked at as well. So are issues around governance both in the private and public sectors need scrutiny. These are issues in addition to what you have said that need our collective focus. Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.

    • Professional Zimbabwean

      Well said. I could also add that we need to work on our mining, tourism, manufacturing and education system. Service delivery such as garbage collection and water need to be looked at as well. So are issues around governance both in the private and public sectors need scrutiny. These are issues in addition to what you have said that need our collective focus. Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.

    • Professional Zimbabwean

      Well said. I could also add that we need to work on our mining, tourism, manufacturing and education system. Service delivery such as garbage collection and water need to be looked at as well. So are issues around governance both in the private and public sectors need scrutiny. These are issues in addition to what you have said that need our collective focus. Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.

  • anaristi

    iwo maMinister edu aya akamboita madegree apiko nxa

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Cde Chidarikire vakadarikira pakufunga ! That out of taste “joke“ cannot be expected from a seasoned politician! It is clear that some politicians are dying to put themselves in front to be recognized by the VP`s family hoping to influence their future political careers on assumption that the VP will be elected President in future when our dear leader retires or is not voted in by the people. Informed Zimbabweans know the diffference between an appointed office and an elected one. Both VPs were appointed. For any of then to be future president , one has to voted in by the Zimbabwean electorate! That is how Cde Mugabe became President and his spouse the First Lady.Any other political imaginations are what we call in Shona “madanha echembere kurota ichiyamwa zanu ramai vayo“! Any future PRESIDENT will be elected , not apointed! That is what is provided for in our ZANUPF and Zimbabwe`s constitutions!

    • Chiguri “Guri” Mabarwe

      The VP is doing duties of the President and his wife will assume that role say should President Zuma brings his five first ladies, Mrs Mnangagwa would be acting in that capacity. I think the food donated by Grace is still in the tastes of many making much to do about nothis ng.

    • Chiguri “Guri” Mabarwe

      The VP is doing duties of the President and his wife will assume that role say should President Zuma brings his five first ladies, Mrs Mnangagwa would be acting in that capacity. I think the food donated by Grace is still in the tastes of many making much to do about nothis ng.

  • Zvakwna

    I think Mr. Chidarikire is being blamed for no reason. I am not into politics but the remark made by Mr. Chidarikire is now being doctored and manipulated to politically suit someone. If everyone agrees that Mr. Mnangagwa was the acting president and is married, the wife can be referred to as an acting first lady in the absence of the first lady. It was only going to be wrong if Grace Mugabe was in the country. As the first lady was outside the country for personal or family reasons, it was true that Mrs. Mnangagwa was the acting first lady. People must accept that as long as they accept that Mnangagwa was acting president. Now some so called intelligent people are trying to discredit Mnangagwa so that Grace would read it to mean that Mnangagwa wants to remove the first family from power. I think the first lady Grace is too intelligent to be used on this matter.

  • Faction

    ko alleged murder case ya sekuru ava yakazoita sei zviya

  • Faction

    ko alleged murder case ya sekuru ava yakazoita sei zviya

  • Chitavati

    Despite denials from Mnanagawa spokesperson supporters, it’s obvious he’s rapidly consolidating his power base to counteract the overwhelming majority of alleged Mujuru affiliates who’ve largely temporarily gone underground.
    We can anticipate the Mnangagwa group continuing this strategy, although in a more subdued and hidden manner to avoid outcry from other self-proclaimed anti-factional quarters who’ve publicly declared their sole loyalty to Mugabe (but not the nation?), by abusing state-controlled media to further their own agendas.
    Without being a prophet, one can see a near future possibility arising of the President preferring to stay outside the country after one of his many frequent foreign trips, rather than face the music at home if he eventually loses absolute control of his underlings.

  • Chitavati

    Despite denials from Mnanagawa spokesperson supporters, it’s obvious he’s rapidly consolidating his power base to counteract the overwhelming majority of alleged Mujuru affiliates who’ve largely temporarily gone underground.
    We can anticipate the Mnangagwa group continuing this strategy, although in a more subdued and hidden manner to avoid outcry from other self-proclaimed anti-factional quarters who’ve publicly declared their sole loyalty to Mugabe (but not the nation?), by abusing state-controlled media to further their own agendas.
    Without being a prophet, one can see a near future possibility arising of the President preferring to stay outside the country after one of his many frequent foreign trips, rather than face the music at home if he eventually loses absolute control of his underlings.

  • maths

    That’s how how Mai Mujuru was removed. These analysts want to portray Mnangagwa as a bad apple to Mr Mugabe there by causing his ouster. Let’s see how president in going to react.

  • maths

    That’s how how Mai Mujuru was removed. These analysts want to portray Mnangagwa as a bad apple to Mr Mugabe there by causing his ouster. Let’s see how president in going to react.

  • maths

    That’s how how Mai Mujuru was removed. These analysts want to portray Mnangagwa as a bad apple to Mr Mugabe there by causing his ouster. Let’s see how president in going to react.

  • maths

    That’s how how Mai Mujuru was removed. These analysts want to portray Mnangagwa as a bad apple to Mr Mugabe there by causing his ouster. Let’s see how president in going to react.

  • Dr. VONC PHd

    This first lady business is an American concept that has been adopted by a number of countries. There is nothing in our constitution addressing the president’s wife. So I don’t understand the hoola baloo with what Faber said.

  • Dr. VONC PHd

    This first lady business is an American concept that has been adopted by a number of countries. There is nothing in our constitution addressing the president’s wife. So I don’t understand the hoola baloo with what Faber said.

  • Dr. VONC PHd

    This first lady business is an American concept that has been adopted by a number of countries. There is nothing in our constitution addressing the president’s wife. So I don’t understand the hoola baloo with what Faber said.

  • Dr. VONC PHd

    This first lady business is an American concept that has been adopted by a number of countries. There is nothing in our constitution addressing the president’s wife. So I don’t understand the hoola baloo with what Faber said.

  • bhinikwa

    Herald you are losing the plot. or rather *** you yourself is overdoing it. its enough that Mujuru is out in the cold because of your sterling efforts.

  • bhinikwa

    Herald you are losing the plot. or rather *** you yourself is overdoing it. its enough that Mujuru is out in the cold because of your sterling efforts.

  • bhinikwa

    Herald you are losing the plot. or rather *** you yourself is overdoing it. its enough that Mujuru is out in the cold because of your sterling efforts.

  • bhinikwa

    Herald you are losing the plot. or rather *** you yourself is overdoing it. its enough that Mujuru is out in the cold because of your sterling efforts.

  • Garba Lawal

    ko dai ari iye Bob akadaro maiti kudii? hapana asingaite bootlick in zanu

  • Garba Lawal

    ko dai ari iye Bob akadaro maiti kudii? hapana asingaite bootlick in zanu

  • Garba Lawal

    ko dai ari iye Bob akadaro maiti kudii? hapana asingaite bootlick in zanu

  • TTM

    For everyone’s information, in our constitution, whichever version of it you prefer to use, there is no title of First Lady. It is a courtesy title only, with no real/tangible responsibilities/benefits attached to it and it is neither an elective role nor that one is formally appointed to. It has neither a role description nor key performance parameters (except those of the household, of course). That it was a joke or not is not really material, it is meaningless ipso facto, and there was no offence committed.

  • TTM

    For everyone’s information, in our constitution, whichever version of it you prefer to use, there is no title of First Lady. It is a courtesy title only, with no real/tangible responsibilities/benefits attached to it and it is neither an elective role nor that one is formally appointed to. It has neither a role description nor key performance parameters (except those of the household, of course). That it was a joke or not is not really material, it is meaningless ipso facto, and there was no offence committed.

    • General Munda

      “…. with no real/tangible responsibilities/benefits attached to it….” Apa wazonyeba manje apa. There is a lot of responsibilities (role model plus behaving with decorum to mention just a couple) AND benefits vakuru.

      • TTM

        General Munda being a role model is only a moral expectation (as a companion of the Head of State), it is not a measurable responsibility by the State. The benefits only accrue by the same virtue of relation.

      • TTM

        General Munda being a role model is only a moral expectation (as a companion of the Head of State), it is not a measurable responsibility by the State. The benefits only accrue by the same virtue of relation.

        • 1st VP

          I agree with Munda. It’s a responsibilty. The reason why things fall apart in societies such as ours is that people like you TTM come up with such high sounding nonsense. At the end of it all, these idiots do not believe they have a responbility to behave with the said decorum or conduct becoming that of somebody with proximity to the bossman. You are now contradicting yourself saying that the benefits are as a result of the relationship to the H.O.S (bingo, therein lies the problem). This is not a courtesy title mfanha. From your contribution it’s quite easy to tell you don’t reside in Zim.

        • 1st VP

          I agree with Munda. It’s a responsibilty. The reason why things fall apart in societies such as ours is that people like you TTM come up with such high sounding nonsense. At the end of it all, these idiots do not believe they have a responbility to behave with the said decorum or conduct becoming that of somebody with proximity to the bossman. You are now contradicting yourself saying that the benefits are as a result of the relationship to the H.O.S (bingo, therein lies the problem). This is not a courtesy title mfanha. From your contribution it’s quite easy to tell you don’t reside in Zim.

      • TTM

        General Munda being a role model is only a moral expectation (as a companion of the Head of State), it is not a measurable responsibility by the State. The benefits only accrue by the same virtue of relation.

  • TTM

    For everyone’s information, in our constitution, whichever version of it you prefer to use, there is no title of First Lady. It is a courtesy title only, with no real/tangible responsibilities/benefits attached to it and it is neither an elective role nor that one is formally appointed to. It has neither a role description nor key performance parameters (except those of the household, of course). That it was a joke or not is not really material, it is meaningless ipso facto, and there was no offence committed.

  • TTM

    For everyone’s information, in our constitution, whichever version of it you prefer to use, there is no title of First Lady. It is a courtesy title only, with no real/tangible responsibilities/benefits attached to it and it is neither an elective role nor that one is formally appointed to. It has neither a role description nor key performance parameters (except those of the household, of course). That it was a joke or not is not really material, it is meaningless ipso facto, and there was no offence committed.

  • Mwene mutapa

    this is rubbish reporting at its best!!!

  • Mwene mutapa

    this is rubbish reporting at its best!!!

  • Mwene mutapa

    this is rubbish reporting at its best!!!

  • Mwene mutapa

    this is rubbish reporting at its best!!!

  • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

    i love zimbabwe but eish!

  • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

    i love zimbabwe but eish!

  • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

    i love zimbabwe but eish!

  • Sifiso Xolile Ndlovu Zgwanyanw

    i love zimbabwe but eish!

  • mukorekore

    This is blowing things out of proportion. Faber erred but its not worthy news material.We have serious issues that we need herald to report on. YaFaber chisiyanai nayo.

  • mukorekore

    This is blowing things out of proportion. Faber erred but its not worthy news material.We have serious issues that we need herald to report on. YaFaber chisiyanai nayo.

  • mukorekore

    This is blowing things out of proportion. Faber erred but its not worthy news material.We have serious issues that we need herald to report on. YaFaber chisiyanai nayo.

  • mukorekore

    This is blowing things out of proportion. Faber erred but its not worthy news material.We have serious issues that we need herald to report on. YaFaber chisiyanai nayo.

  • Harare

    kikikikikikiikikiki herakd yapera

  • Harare

    kikikikikikiikikiki herakd yapera

  • Harare

    kikikikikikiikikiki herakd yapera

  • Harare

    kikikikikikiikikiki herakd yapera

  • chinyichacho

    how do you define corruption? And whats all the fuss about?

  • chinyichacho

    how do you define corruption? And whats all the fuss about?

  • chinyichacho

    how do you define corruption? And whats all the fuss about?

  • chinyichacho

    how do you define corruption? And whats all the fuss about?

  • Genesis23456

    Minister vakakanganisa period, jokes are relative to situations, and his joke does not help the Zimbabwean or ZANU PF situation at all.

  • cashtalk

    haiwa zvakaoma so nw even jokes are being taken serious. ini i think this is some political plot against chidarikire because seriously hapana nyaya. Tsve kunyoranezvekuti the party went on well muchimirira ipapo ask nangananga na chidarikire zvake aitocracker joke zvake. u journos shod be ashamed of ur selves esp the editor for for qualifying this rubbish as a front page headline

  • Observer

    Who is the editor of The Herald by the way?

  • jj

    Kushaya zvekunyora what nonsense

  • jj

    Kushaya zvekunyora what nonsense

  • jj

    Kushaya zvekunyora what nonsense

  • Charley Matonganyika

    Easy guys..
    Faber Chidarikire is not an intelligent guy,he did not mean to offend anyone.He is just ignorant and thinks that when one is Acting President his wife becomes acting First Lady.

    The caliber of some guys..Lord have mercy

  • Charley Matonganyika

    Easy guys..
    Faber Chidarikire is not an intelligent guy,he did not mean to offend anyone.He is just ignorant and thinks that when one is Acting President his wife becomes acting First Lady.

    The caliber of some guys..Lord have mercy

  • Charley Matonganyika

    Easy guys..
    Faber Chidarikire is not an intelligent guy,he did not mean to offend anyone.He is just ignorant and thinks that when one is Acting President his wife becomes acting First Lady.

    The caliber of some guys..Lord have mercy