“Poverty Is A Choice”: Lee Ann Bernard Sparks Controversy With ‘Insensitive’ Statement
Former news anchor for national broadcaster ZBC, Lee Ann Bernard sparked controversy on social media after declaring that poverty is a choice. Lee Ann insisted that all citizens have access to the same 24 hours in a day and implied that some people may be poor because they misuse their time.
The issue started when an account allegedly belonging to former President Robert Mugabe’s son Chatunga Bellarmine spoke out against mocking people who are struggling. Writing on Twitter, the Chatunga account, which has over 64,000 followers wrote,
“Being broke is a mindset” statement iri is bullshit. I’ve seen some hustlers who try very hard but zvichitoramba if you are privileged enough to get connections you don’t have to mock varikuedza or put unnecessary pressure
“being broke is a mindset” statement iri is bullshit. I’ve seen some hustlers who tries very hard but zvichitoramba if yu ar privileged enough to get connections you don’t hve to mock varikuedza or put unnecessary pressure
— CHATUNGA (@bellagushaz) August 24, 2021
The statement was seemingly directed at gospel rapper Mudiwa Hood. Lee Ann responded to the post by saying that poverty is a choice because everyone has 24 hours to be productive. The former ZBC news anchor wrote,
Poverty is a choice, we All have 24 hours in a day, it is what you choose to do with it that differs.
Poverty is a choice, we All have 24 hours in a day, its what you choose to do with it that differs.
— Lee Ann Bernard (@Lee_Ann_Cara) August 25, 2021
This statement did not go down well with many people who accused Bernard of being arrogant and insensitive. Some accused her of benefitting from corruption due to her access to people in high offices.
Below are some of the reactions from social media users to Lee Ann Bernard’s sentiments.
This nonsense from a regime bootlicker who read propaganda on @ZBCNewsonline only yesterday, who mistakes getting trinkets for fooling around as hard work, reflects the ideological poverty of Mnangagwa’s regime. The cruel truth is 7,9 million Zimbabweans live in extreme poverty!
— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) August 25, 2021
Why do people leave their brains in the bathroom?
She is a recipient of stolen, looted and plundered funds through her work and employers!
Then she comes to Twitter to mock 8 million people living in poverty by calling them lazy?
This type of ignorance needs vaccination ASAP! pic.twitter.com/HJV33cmOOP
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) August 25, 2021
Taxpayers’ money is so sweet that,after filling yo handbags with filthy lucre,u stand on Mount Nyangani to gleefully shout:”Poverty is a choice.” You’re mocking the same people who are funding yo lifestyle? Do u really think 8million Zimbos have chosen to live in extreme poverty? pic.twitter.com/RHHxE6mQFm
— Brezh Malaba (@BrezhMalaba) August 26, 2021
poverty is a choice? Hanzi we are going to Mnangagwa and begging, tipe poverty kani. We want poverty. Ivo havo vachiti tipei juzi kani… https://t.co/z4nWZbWY29
— Freeman (@freemanchari) August 25, 2021
You see what people who get preferential treatment in state contracts say They think kuti vakapenga…One day it will end. https://t.co/WY86F0b0an
— S. Time♤ (@timeswinfen) August 26, 2021
Poverty cannot be classified as a choice. It is such a cruel thing to say. Poverty is how society is structured. opportunity for one creates disparity for others. Resources are finite. if one is is worth 1b, many will lose out. Poverty can never be eliminated but it can b reduced https://t.co/1CKgfKnpiI
— larry kwirirayi (@kwirirayi) August 25, 2021
24 hours is not the only ingredient required for success, let that sink in. Our initial point and the help we get along the way are not the same. To base your argument solely on time is not only inaccurate but misguided and simplistic to say the very least. https://t.co/G5l9gnx1Ji
— Uncle M (@Son_of_Douglas) August 25, 2021
Most of Children in rural areas haven’t seen more than 3 months of education in nearly two years. Children in urban areas have a privilege of private lessons. They all have 24 hours. 20 years from now they would be told this https://t.co/7ZBVmB2rEn
— Uncle nJebha (@njebha98angelo) August 25, 2021
This screams “privilege”
Some people work hard 24/7, some worked hard for years but got their hard work eroded overnight by a small group of selfish individuals.
Then one blurts out that its a choice, how is it their choice nhai? https://t.co/0tyHQE2W1r
— The Talkative Introvert (@Avenger_On_Call) August 25, 2021
When you are privileged just be grateful and thankful. Poverty is never a choice. I see people work much harder than me all the time but getting much less. Hakusi kugona kwangu. Always have empathy for others and be emotionally intelligent. https://t.co/DusUogiK2x
— Taz TG Mus (@tazmus982) August 25, 2021
In a later post, Lee Ann said that she is owed an apology arguing that she is paid to gaslight people.
Everyone in this thread owes me an apology including the author
@bellagushaz . If I’m paid to gas light is it a crime haibo please do it fast each and every munhu imomo apologise oooooo.
Everyone in this thread owes me an apology including the author @bellagushaz . If I’m paid to gas light is it a crime haibo please do it fast each and every munhu imomo apologise oooooo. https://t.co/mbiRycZlfW
— Lee Ann Bernard (@Lee_Ann_Cara) August 25, 2021
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