Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament yesterday that he was not quite sure who funded First Lady Grace Mugabe’s tours and therefore needed more time to establish that.
He had been asked by Bulawayo South Member of Parliament Eddie Cross whether Grace’s tours were funded by the State, and if so, how much the State had spent and whether that expenditure was justified.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, my apologies, I do not have the answer to this question ready and I crave the indulgence of the Hon. Member to give me more time,” Chinamasa replied.
Grace has been under fire from her party following her sentiments at a rally in Chiweshe where she accused security forces of plotting to kill her son.
Party youths have called on Mugabe to reign in his wife accusing her of trying to destroy the party.
Members of the security forces are also reported to have asked President Mugabe, who is commander-in-chief of the security forces, to come clear on what his wife said because she could not have said what she said without his knowledge or consent.
Grace, who told those who attended her rally that she was “mafirakureva”, has been severely criticised for her political immaturity and compromising the country’s security.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa told Parliament last year that the First Lady was distributing government farming equipment acquired from Brazil.
Q & A
TOURS OF PROVINCES BY THE FIRST LADY
2. HON. CROSS asked the Minister of Finance and Economic Development whether the recent tours to the provinces by the First Lady were catered for by the State, and if so, to state the expenditure incurred and also if the Minister could report to the House the extent and justification of such expenditure.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Mr. Speaker Sir, my apologies, I do not have the answer to this question ready and I crave the indulgence of the Hon. Member to give me more time.-Insider