Grace Mugabe: Mutasa speaks

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF says the formal endorsement of First Lady Grace Mugabe to take over the leadership of the party’s Women’s League, signifying her first high-profile public foray into elective politics, has nothing to do with succession politics or factionalism.

Amid reports the entry of Grace was sanctioned by Mugabe to deal a mortal blow to the factions angling to succeed the 90-year-old leader, Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa told the Daily News yesterday that the First Lady’s entry into the political fray had nothing to do with reported attempts to block Vice President Joice Mujuru from ascending to the highest job in the land.

This comes as the Presidential Affairs minister has — for the umpteenth time — tipped Mujuru to take over from Mugabe, but the president himself recently ruled out both Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Zanu PF Women’s League on Friday unanimously recommended to president Mugabe the appointment of his wife to the powerful position of secretary for the League at the elective women’s congress scheduled for next month.

Mutasa, who is said to belong to the Mujuru faction, yesterday played down the view that Grace’s entry into politics was meant to deal with factionalism.

He said: “If the women have nominated amai (First Lady), this means it is what they want and there is nothing wrong with that.

“What has factionalism to do with that? I don’t see where factionalism comes in. All I can say is that women want amai (First Lady) to lead them.”

Mutasa insisted that the entry of the First Lady had nothing to do with Mujuru.

“I don’t see how Amai Mujuru is connected to the rise of amai (First Lady). In any case, there is no vacancy in the office of the president, it is occupied by Cde Mugabe,” Mutasa said.

“So we cannot talk about amai (First Lady)’s nomination as a bid to block Amai Mujuru to ascend because there is no vacancy to talk about. We will only talk about that when a vacancy arises and as of now, we can’t be talking about that. We will cross the bridge when we get there.”

The endorsement was made following her 49th birthday party held at her farm in Mazowe. She won a ringing endorsement from the country’s 10 provinces.

Outgoing Women’s League boss, Oppah Muchinguri, made the shock announcement, and was backed by Senate president Edna Madzongwe.

While Muchinguri could not comment yesterday as she was tied up at a provincial coordinating committee meeting, she is said to belong to the Mnangagwa faction. She told the Mazowe meeting last Friday that when the late First Lady Sally Mugabe led the Women’s League, factionalism was kept in check, and called on the First Lady to step into her post.

Muchinguri’s backing of Grace has spawned speculation that it was a shrewd attempt by the Mnangagwa faction to scuttle Mujuru’s bid for the presidency.

With the ex-Defence strongman locked in a perpetual succession duel with Mujuru, the Chirimanzu-Zibagwe MP has been touted as one of the leading contenders to take over from Mugabe — but Mutasa has previously said Mnangagwa was a distant number 14 and far beyond the perking order of making it into the presidium.

And with Mugabe staunchly refusing to name anyone as his successor, other names have cropped up and these include ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, and Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi.

In a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mugabe clearly stated that he may not contest the 2018 election and “the people would have to decide on his successor” — although he has not made that decision yet.

Comments (16)

Sisi Gire has the political acument of a house fly. Lack of meritocracy is the stranglehold that led to the still birth Zimbabwe as a nation state.

Galore 123 - 28 July 2014

mother's soft touch

Chidondova - 28 July 2014

Let the dimwits lead zanu pf but not the country. This country has had enough of shallow minded individuals in leadership positions plunging the country into economic and political abyss.

Nkosi Mambo - 28 July 2014

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One wonders what ZANU PF hope to achieve by taking Grace to lead their women.This one is simply a housewife.

mudakureva - 29 July 2014

All companies and parastatals were started by rich whites with established business networks and then some idiot black politician oti ibvayi we can run these companies iye zvino Chinamasa ave kuti lets close the parastatals. Ndo progress here iyoyo? Ma politician kunyepera vanhu kuti ma natural resources edu aibiwa ne ma bhunu hezvino nyika yese iri pasi pe munhu mutema asi hapana chirikufamba. Poor people cannot run companies they will steal from these companies to keep up with the Joneses. People have been made to sleepwalk into some outdated communist/socialist experiment by Mugabe. What we have is a type of Ujamaa like Nyerere's Tanzania in the 1970s. What others are calling Land Reform is actually Ujamaa. Ujamaa (Land Reform) failed in Tanzania, it is failing here.

Musona - 29 July 2014

Cde Mutasa, I have now realized you stopped thinking a long time ago. Don't you know that honest Zimbabweans have stopped believing a grain of whatever you say? Who do you want to believe that ZPF has no future plan in the appointment of Grace Mugabe to head the women's league?

Chenjerai Hove - 29 July 2014

Cde Mutasa you have used the word "amai" a few times. Amai ava ndeva ani zviya?

Aintmemum 4sure - 29 July 2014

It began with the Prophet then Prophetess now President Presidentess Doctor Doctoress Convict Convictess....kkkkkki madzimbabwe. But remember Oppah was rejected by the people from her own constituency she is in power through nomination. This might be a way of trying to get in through the backdoor. Ultimately the masses will have the last laugh

madzibaba Ishumairai - 29 July 2014

l cudn't finish this article because of what Mutasa said. A leader like you please just show us that you can plan for tomorrow. how can you say we will cross the bridge when we get there to a nation especially young people Please leaders we need Plan not this


sleepy zanus, mugabe will forever ride on you as mama margret dongo once said. you tell mutasa does not know that to mugabe the only person who can do it for him is grace. look at how she campigned in the last election. zanu is mugabe property.

see - 30 July 2014

when are we ever going to hear good news coming from the powers that be. instead of making progress, we are slowly but surely sliding into an abyss. dai magaba akafira nyika ino vachiri vapenyu i dont think taidai tiri pa situation yatiri nhasi. look at the massive developments happening in surrounding countries, moza, zambia and sa. isu tiri busy nezvisina basa.

haya - 30 July 2014

thanks for the truth

Rev.Dr Ezekiel Zifungo - 2 August 2014

Ichokwadi chaicho magamba enyika ino akafa kare kare dai vakayambuka muZimbabwe itsva vana wenyika ino tese takanuna uye Mugabe asina kutonga nyika ino .

vince - 4 August 2014

The Zimbabwe economic-social -political situation has become too complicated for the SIMPLE minds of the multitudes to comprehend. Hence the many grips in the air of commentators to this paper. Wait and see the revolutionary changes and strides in the life and economy of this country in the coming three years onward!

observer - 5 August 2014

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