'Respect Women,' Grace Mugabe Says In First Public Statement

"When you see a woman anywhere, you should think about your mother, sister or your wife."
REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters

Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe has reportedly urged young men to treat women with respect, especially as rape cases remained high in the southern African country.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Grace said this in her first public statement since she left South Africa following allegations that she assaulted a young model at a Johannesburg hotel.

Grace told journalists while touring various facilities, including the Adult Rape Clinic, at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show in Harare on Friday that there was need to inculcate a culture of respect for women among young men.

"You are not just respecting your mother alone, but other women as well. When you see a woman anywhere, you should think about your mother, sister or your wife.

'Sleepless night'

"It (rape) is something you do not want to happen to your relative...," Grace was quoted as saying.

Grace made headlines after she allegedly assaulted a young South African model, Gabriella Engels, on August 13.

The first lady reportedly used an extension cord to beat Engels while her bodyguards looked on. Engels had been in her sons hotel room in Sandton at the time.

Her two sons Robert jnr and Bellarmine Chatunga were known for notoriety and lavish lifestyles. The duo was recently kicked out of an apartment block in the leafy Sandton after they reportedly engaged in "unacceptable behaviour" that left a security officer at the block with a broken leg and arm. This prompted Grace to fly to South Africa to organise alternative accommodation for them.

In July, Grace admitted that her two sons were giving her "sleepless nights" as they had become wild and taken to beer binges and drugs.

'I have turned to God for wisdom'

Grace told those who gathered for her sister's birthday party in Shamva that demons were at play, destroying children everywhere.

"Nowadays there are spirits attacking our children. The spirit of drinking, drug abuse and doing other abnormal things way beyond their age," the First lady was quoted as saying.

"I am telling you because the behaviour of children does not matter if they are the president's children or not. All children are mischievous these days.

"I have turned to God for wisdom. I ask the Lord for intervention and pray everyday when I wake up," Grace said.


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