Government has dismissed as mischievous and false a story carried last Friday by a privately owned weekly — Zimbabwe Independent — claiming that First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe has taken over Mazowe Dam in Mashonaland Central Province.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs responsible for Mashonaland Central, Advocate Martin Dinha told ZBC TV that the dam was declared a national monument and anyone with a permit from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority had use rights to it.
The Zimbabwe Independent’s last week edition claimed that the First Lady had “grabbed” Mazowe Dam. Adv Dinha said it was mischief to purport the First Lady as having taken the national monument. “This story is clearly and blatantly untrue,” he said. “It is false. It depicts the level of journalism by the so-called independent journalists, who are in fact opposition mouthpieces, Western inspired loud speakers. I am very disappointed.”
Adv Dinha said the story portrayed a desperate attempt by the paper to discredit the First Family as in defiance of the Water Act. “Mazowe Dam remains a public dam that anyone with a permit obtained from Zinwa has use rights,” he said.
“As a province, we categorically state that there is no attempt, let alone any deed or act the First Lady has done. Mazowe Dam is a public dam built by Government long back. In terms of the Water Act, everyone with a permit obtained through Zinwa has use rights.”
Adv Dinha said the First Lady, who has a children’s home and Grace Mugabe Junior School around the area was entitled to use the dam just like other farmers who were downstream.
He implored the media to be responsible and avoid abusing their journalistic privileges through malicious stories.-Herald