Journalists ‘fight’ over first lady

Zimbabwe's darling first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has journalists grappling each other to cover her and personalise her
Zimbabwe's darling first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has journalists grappling each other to cover her and personalise her

Harare – The new dispensation has brought with it an approachable first lady in Auxillia Mnangagwa as compared to Grace Mugabe whose behaviour signalled possibility of disorder.

With media people gaining access to Mrs Mnangagwa on a regular basis, the have been indication of friction among the country`s scribes as they jostle to be the closest to the Chirumhanzu Zibagwe Legislator.

Private media journalist, Blessed Mhlanga seems to be leading the pack owing to his stint as the Midlands Bureau for Newsday which made him close to the first lady well before her November 2017 ascension.

Mhlanga, according to sources has been shadowing Mrs Mnangagwa acting as her defacto media liaison officer.

A recent event involving Mhlanga has sent murmurs within the Zimbabwean media fraternity.

Mhlanga was recently tasked withorganising a high tea between female media practitioners and the first lady and his approach raised questions.

“Blessed left journalists from the state media and filled the list with people from privately owned newspapers. The first lady had to instruct him to change the list or the high tea would be cancelled,” the source said.

Mhlanga is said to have given talking points to all attending journalists ordering them to stick to the script.

“A number of talking points was drafted and circulated to journalists in a Whatsapp group dominated by Mhlanga whose username has the moniker Bhuru. He ordered the women around telling them what to ask,” our source said.

The high tea which drew various personalities in the media from talk show host Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, Nyaradzo Makombe and other top women in the media had all signs of tension written over it.

According to well-placed voices in the media, there are two camps of scribes surrounding the first lady.

There is a group which is led by Blessed Mhlanga comprising mostly of private media journalists and the other one led by Kudzai Gumbo (who was conspicuous by her absence at the high tea with reports that she is in Dubai) involving those from the state media.

Auxillia Mnangagwa`s goodwill in the public stands at risk as scribes trip over each other trying to impress her.

Observers say the competition to appease her is the reason why her every move has been captured by the media, including simple acts like buying fruit.