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Will Grace succeed Robert Mugabe?

ON April 6, we carried a lead story: Grace Mugabe eclipses Mujuru, Mnangagwa which for the first time revealed that the First Lady was establishing herself as a new kingmaker in Zanu PF.

From the Editor’s Desk by Walter Marwizi

To some critics, it appeared as if we had run our imagination wild by suggesting that a growing number of some party bigwigs were now abandoning their factions to rally behind her.

“How on earth could Grace, a former secretary, have enough courage to take on Vice-President Joice Mujuru, a woman of steel who managed to down a helicopter during the liberation struggle?” This is one reaction we got from a reader.

It seemed implausible then that Grace, 40 years Mugabe’s junior, could challenge some members of the Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions who fought in the trenches with Mugabe when she was still a “baby”.

But as they say in Shona, Rine manyanga hariputirwi (time has a way of unravelling hidden things). On Friday, Mazowe Valley was abuzz with women bussed from all over the country to proclaim Grace as their new leader.

Although our journalists were prohibited from covering the event, reports showed that Senate President Edna Madzongwe proposed that Grace takes over the leadership of the Women’s League, a proposal which was endorsed by current boss Oppah Muchinguri and by the thousands of women by way of raising their hands.

Grace informed her adoring fans that she needed time to consult on whether to take up or reject the offer. She however said it would be difficult to turn down the leadership of the powerful league if the proposal was acceptable to the party’s leadership. Don’t read too much into these statements!

If Grace did not have her own ambitions, she would not have allowed the women to congregate at her Mazowe base on Saturday.

By Friday morning the women’s agenda to endorse her for the leadership of the Women’s League was no longer a secret, and the event was part of well-crafted manoeuvres designed to ensure Grace has political power in her own right.

After amassing all the investments in Mazowe Valley, these need to be protected because they will forever be questions over how she managed to build her orphanage and school and where the First Family got funds to set up their mega diary project. So Grace can only be assured of securing her investments if she has political clout.

But there is another way to look at it. Our First Lady is no longer content with preparing breakfast for her husband, choosing the best suits for him to wear, or defending him against “rogue” journalists in Singapore; she wants a seat in the politburo, which is Zanu PF’s supreme decision-making body.

There would be nothing untoward with a First Lady nursing political ambitions. Hillary Clinton, supported her husband, US President Bill Clinton in White House for eight years, and when he left the presidency, she became a senator. A few years later, she sought nomination as a candidate for the Democratic Party for 2008 US presidency, won by Barack Obama.

It’s possible Grace and her promoters may be deriving inspiration from Hillary, who still has a chance for another shot at the presidency in 2016. But America is America, a land of opportunity which is totally different from Zimbabwe. This weevil infested landlocked country is unique; the political terrain is rough, there are no clear rules and deadly ambushes are the order of the day.

Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who deny harbouring presidential ambitions, have been in this game for a long time, and the coming in of Grace will add more drama to the succession issue.

No doubt, Grace as Mugabe’s wife would have an upper hand as long as her husband still maintains a firm grip on the party, but if he happens to be incapacitated due to ill health or old age, the picture would change completely, and Grace could easily be reduced to a nonentity.

We saw two weeks ago, how some Zanu PF heavyweights tried to bar those without 15 years experience from contesting the elections.

Grace never led a cell, the smallest unit in Zanu PF, and the stringent and undemocratic rules would have sidelined her and many other aspiring candidates from a faction that sympathises with Mnangagwa.

Oppah Muchinguri, who is leading the push to elevate Grace, complained bitterly in Mazowe about these rules.

If Grace becomes a politburo member, which is a foregone conclusion, she would join the Zanu PF’s supreme decision making body making her very influential. Those routing for her think she would provide a much needed bulwark against the Mujuru faction. It however remains to be seen how she would match the likes of Didymus Mutasa who are solidly behind Mujuru.

Here are some questions that need answers: What if the same women who congregated in Mazowe wake up one day and demand that Amai succeeds Baba Mugabe? Will Grace be accommodated in cabinet? What if Zanu PF youths demand that Chatunga Mugabe be their leader? Only time will tell.

25 Responses to Will Grace succeed Robert Mugabe?

  1. thusani dube July 27, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    hezvoko! rwavhi Mugabe wants to give mukadzi westvingu presidency. dictators have a tendency of wanting it to remain in the family – gaddafi wanted his son, eyadema left it for his son, omar bongo bequeathed it to ali ben, bingu wa mtharika made wife vice president before his maker decided to recall him. theodoro nguema’s son is the most powerful politician in equ. guinea after him. and the list is endless. and if they are some who think that grace cannot be president, wake up and smell the coffee. dictators always appoint unlikely successors and here history has an innate tendency of repeating itself- nujoma appointed pohamba, chiulba, mwanawasa, muluzi wa mutharika. Vote MDC for real change and to avoid the shame of being ruled by the whore!

    • john July 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

      May u explain to me how J kabila become president. Is it that as Africans we are very loyal to our dictators

  2. JB Truth July 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    if she is surrounded by disabled people in zanuPF then she should take over

  3. Wengwere July 27, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Iwe Walter Marwizi you are a daydreamer. You write, “Vice-President Joice Mujuru, a woman of steel who managed to down a helicopter during the liberation struggle?” Nothing is the sort ever happened. That is fantasy. We never heard any reports of a Rhodesian helicopter being downed in Mozambique in the 1970s. Where exactly was this helicopter downed? When exactly was it downed? We never saw any pictures showing a downed helicopter. She downed a butterfly now you are saying she downed a helicopter. Where are the remains of the is helicopter? Is the Mozambique government in a position to confirm that a helicopter was downed by Joice Mujuru? I only heard about this about two years ago that Joice Mujuru is claiming she downed a helicopter. That is a lie. Bigging herself. Walter Marwizi stop propagating lies to curry favour with those in power. That is what you journalists do – you write false reports to curry favour with those in power so that you get jobs in government later on.

    • machakachaka July 28, 2014 at 8:37 am #

      Yes, the story that VP Mujuru downed a helicopter during the war is a lie, and she knows it is a lie. When a military helicopter engages ground fighters in battle, it operates outside the range of most infantry weapons, which happened to be mostly AKs during the war. The helicopters used mainly Browning double barrel machine-guns which had a vastly superior range. The result was that you could see the helicopter but couldn’t hit it because of range, but the helicopter could easily kill you because they had the range, speed and better aerial vision. A few guerillas downed helicopters during our war of liberation, but Joice Mugari was not one of them.

      • Ephert July 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

        True that broer

  4. Wengwere July 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Walter Marwizi – at no point did we ever hear that Rhodesian authorities were meeting Mozambique government officials to repatriate bodies of Rhodesian airmen killed in a downed helicopter in Mozambique. Did Joice Mujuru rush t the spot where the helicopter fell? What did she do after? She downed the helicopter and what happened to the injured or deceased airmen piloting the helicopter? How many airmen where there? Did the relatives of the “deceased” airmen not want to bury their loved ones? Surely someone must have been piloting the said helicopter? There are more questions than answers. The less said about this fantasy the better. Can you please come up with some answers?

  5. simon cele July 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Let her eat! Her Bimha brothers are already at the feeding trough and then we have the VaZukuru managing the mines ministry and one direct “son” readying to take over after Chihuri in ZRP.

    All those who support the first Lady are dishonest their target is to make Mugabe look bad: a dictator

  6. Kikiest July 27, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    Kkkkkkkkkkk.hanzi Joice akadonhesa butterfly kwete helicolpter. Toziva zvipi manji

  7. Paul Idriss July 28, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    Let’s cut through the noise and propaganda, this is Robert Mugabe at work. He needs somebody to protect his interests when he retires at 100.

  8. makombe July 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Lets not go round , we need a new fresh young government

    President Chatunga Mugabe
    Vice President Marvellous Makombe
    Vice President Tinashe K aseke

    Pamberi neZanu PF

  9. Attn2detail July 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    hanzi Reader said Not Walter Marwizi…ref. to Mujuru’s gunning down a helicopter

    • Wengwere July 29, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      @Attn3detail – kunyepa kwa Marwizi kuti “a reader” ariye arikuti Joice akapfura helicopter. Zvisineyi iye Marwizi ngaaite investigate otipira kuti helicopter yacho yakapfurirwa kupi, uyezve ma zita a pilot ne ma soldier akafa. How come it is only Joice who knows about this?

  10. legend Runnér July 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    pipo don’t understand politics mai Mugabe is not eyeing e presidency, she ws given e women chairlady ,so that oppah muchinguri wl face off an mai mujuru cum Dec congress

  11. oscar ndalamali July 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    JOICE JOICE MUJURU NGAREMEKEDWE.

  12. The socialist July 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Those who sayin mujuru ddnt sht dwn th choper dwn mamuri ku hondo here imi

  13. chugu July 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    The copter was downed in the then Rhodesia in the Chesa area. She used her AK-47. Some helicopters fly low especially when landing or ascending and she was in an ambush position.

  14. macharangwanda July 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    musipera musitisiya tisija hedu yenyu yekuda kunzi meziya fani

  15. DJ BONZ July 29, 2014 at 1:22 am #

    magwizi nhema dzako asekuru na tsano vataiur

  16. jusy July 29, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    Ko zvingashamisa kuti helicopter yadonhetswa, handiti kuti uto ndopakati kupfura muvengi here zvingarambika sei iye akadzidziswa kushandisa pfuti yacho; unless if she was just civilian

  17. Treasures July 29, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    There are no political parties in Zimbabwe …. but groups nade of egocentric individuals set to fulfill their personal asprirations

  18. Buffalojump July 31, 2014 at 3:17 am #

    Yes she will be President.

    Zimbabwe’s leadership is a duplication of jolly old England. Royalty rules and when the King goes the Queen steps into the void. Betting money give her the odds on favorite.

  19. cde nhari August 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    ya chatunga ndiyo ine yese maybe its time the youth consider it Dont forget bona at least she is educated

  20. BOMBOKLAAT August 1, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    KO NYIKA YATOO YEMUNHU MUMWE ZVE KANA PADAI. HAMENO TONGOGARA TINGADII BUT SURELY JAH WILL BRIGHTEN OUR VISION SO WE CAN SEE FROM A DISTANCE.

  21. fivestar August 8, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

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