Grace faces resistance

HARARE - There is mounting opposition to Grace Mugabe’s nomination as Women’s League secretary as Zanu PF hurtles towards its December elective congress.

There is palpable disquiet countrywide against the First Lady, expressed in Harare through attacks on youths said to be backing her.

Amid escalating dissent over the fast tracking of the First Lady’s elevation, officials said she does not meet the minimum requirements of a person aspiring for that post. Others question why party rules, including the 15-year-rule, were being flagrantly violated to accommodate her.

Anyone aspiring to hold a position such as secretary must have been in the party structures for a consecutive and mandatory 15 years.

A meeting held in Highfield last weekend saw members of the Harare Women’s League accusing Amos Midzi and Tendai Savanhu of instigating the assault of Edison Takataka, the Youth
League deputy chairperson for allegedly supporting her.

Politburo member Cleveria Chizema accused Midzi of being staunchly opposed to Grace’s nomination.

But Midzi told a news conference in Harare yesterday that his province was fully behind the First Lady and had expressed that position in a letter fired off to party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo. Midzi declined to entertain further questions from the Press over the issue.

“We would like to confirm that as Harare province leadership, we have already dealt with the matter of supporting the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe for the position of national secretary for Women’s League,” Midzi told the news conference

“This position is contained in a letter that we wrote as a province to the national chairman Cde S K Moyo who is also the chairman of the national elections directorate on 13th August 2014. In that letter, we confirmed that Amai Grace Mugabe is a member of the party in Robert Mugabe district under Harare province.”

Midzi said those who insinuated that he was against the First Lady were being mischievous.

“I hope this position that l have shared with you will clarify and dispel the mischievous and misdirected statement which gave the impression that Harare province had not embraced the resolution from the national youth and women conferences,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Harare Women’s League dismissed claims that Harare provincial Youth League deputy chairperson was beaten up, allegedly at the instigation of Savanhu for backing the First Lady.

Elizabeth Bwanya, a committee member of the Harare Women’s League and the chair of the development committee, said Takataka was lying that he was assaulted.

Instead, she said, Takataka walked out of the meeting after being reprimanded for disrespecting senior party officials.

“When we had finished discussing about the main agenda, Cde Riot stood up and noted the presence of Savanhu. From there on, he went on to say that he only respects President Mugabe
and is not afraid of other people,” Bwanya said.

“I said to him that we had politburo members present who are senior people and should be shown respect and Cde Eddie refused to listen.  He insisted that he only respected president
Mugabe. We said to him disrespecting senior party officials is actually disrespecting president Mugabe himself because they are representing him. Cde Eddie then walked out of the meeting only to hear that he had laid charges that Savanhu sent people to assault him for backing Amai Mugabe.”

Angeline Matambanadzo, the Harare Women’s League boss, said the Saturday Highfield meeting was unconstitutional and illegal.

“We aware that some people are power hungry to the extent of calling unconstitutional meetings, alleging that we don’t want to endorse amai. (First Lady). We are the ones who went to Mazowe and endorsed amai Mugabe,” Matambanadzo said.

“We have hypocrites among us. There are wolves in sheep’s clothing and we want them to come out and declare their agenda. They claim that they are the only ones who love president Mugabe. They say we love president Mugabe more than others and yet it is a lie.”

Peter Mushonga, one of the youths allegedly beaten up during Saturday’s meeting, said he was assaulted at the instigation of Harare Youth League leader Godwin Gomwe.

“I was beaten up by youths sent by Gomwe,” he said. “I only asked Gomwe why as a district chairperson l was not aware of the meeting. Gomwe said he does not report to me and l petitioned him. He also said I support mai Mujuru.”

Opposition against Grace is not only coming from Zanu PF heavyweights but from party structures. Members in Mazowe, where she stands accused of acquiring vast tracts of land, are
opposed to her ascendancy, with some branding her “greedy”. They say they have lost their mining claims and land to her.

Insiders claim Grace,  who does not have any experience in politics, has been thrust into that position to stymie Vice President Joice Mujuru’s presidential ambitions.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday: “As far as we are concerned, it is a passing phenomenon and we are not perturbed. There are obviously issues which we need to deal with as a party.”

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a media and democracy scholar, said the First Lady’s appointment was meant to protect the interests of the first family post-Mugabe.

“The issue is about (Emmerson) Mnangagwa,” he said.

“The faction is hiding behind Grace. There is a suspicion that she is linked to that faction and she feels that he has the capacity and loyalty to keep the interests beyond Mugabe.
It is a move by the Mnangagwa faction to consolidate power.”

He said Mujuru might not necessarily lose her position as Vice President but will be very weak.

“She will be like a body of a car without an engine. They (Mnangagwa) are busy destroying Mujuru’s infrastructure,” Ruhanya said, adding that Mugabe was not going to allow a strong centre of power while he was still alive.

He also said the 90-year-old leader, who is revered as a shrewd political schemer even by his adversaries, was playing two main factions against each other, but none of them were likely to take over from him.

“It is important for them to note that he who wields the sword will not get the crown in Zanu PF. The party is a political monarchy with a Mugabe dynasty in power,” Ruhanya said.

Comments (17)

These are make belief stories, there is no resistance here. There might be grumblings like in any family but no resistance. Dongo said everyone in zanu are Mr Mugabe's wives.

Galore 123 - 26 August 2014

Sankara. Pls. read Sankara

selele - 26 August 2014

At least she is better to talk of then chematama.

reason - 26 August 2014

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uu - 26 August 2014

A party of idiots which is confused and does not know where it is heading to especially when one looks at its leader who is on the edge of the grave and any time he could be in it judging by his age of 9 decades hey fokofo , demetiy manhi our country has gone to the dogs.

Diibulaanyika - 26 August 2014

Shame on Reason for his obsession with hating innocent Chamatama.No one in their right mind can seriously vote for Grace.There is terrible hypocrisy in that party.

gondoharishayi - 27 August 2014

amai mugabe,she is the first lady,so by that she has been in the structures for long.

matange - 27 August 2014

The excuse given by Mugabe all the time that we are in a mess because of sanctions is a load of garbage. Excuses, excuses all the time. It's a nonsense. We do not want leaders who keep on giving excuses. The whole idea of contesting for high political office is to do better that the previous or incumbent administration not to give excuses at every opportunity to try and buy time hoping for a miracle. Mugabe has gone to China to increase our debts and burden our grandchildren with debts for years to come. If you cannot pay your existing debts it is unwise to beg for more. Rhodesia had sanctions from 1965 to 1980 but had no debts and Smith did not at any time give any excuses. During that time Mugabe was either in detention from 1964 to late 1974 and then in early 1975 to 1980 he skipped the border and was living in Mozambique and he doesn't know anything about sanctions - if he knew then he would not be giving sanctions as an excuse. All political careers end in failure. Mugabe has been an absolute disaster.

Musona - 27 August 2014

Nhai matange zvauri matanyera vadzimai vako vakutosevenzawo ikoko here, its not by default mukoma.

Chokwadi - 27 August 2014

forget smith musona. you can do better yourself. put your experience and you academic prowess together and vie for leadership. I really trust you will make the best alternative for rhodies. forget rhodies zimbabwe is now for zimbabweans. Just get about and start campaigning who knows tomorrow it would you. If you ar black like me bro! many will support you. all the best. taurai

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wezhira - 31 August 2014

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