Zanu PF in tug of war over Grace

HARARE - First Lady Grace Mugabe is being betrayed by men in Zanu PF who are refusing to back her recent appointment, but she is not going away, Oppah Muchinguri, outgoing secretary for the Women’s league said yesterday.

Male party officials are said to be refusing to endorse a First Lady they see as a “wretched” and “bossy woman.”

While Muchinguri's nomination of Grace as the new secretary for Women's League may have been warmly received by the Mugabes and female voters in the party, it faces a more difficult
— perhaps crippling — test at the hands of a powerful counter-force: the men, according to Muchinguri.

The Women's League boss spoke to the Daily News as men in Zanu PF reacted quite negatively by ratcheting up resistance against the First Lady.

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 the First Lady.

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

But Midzi told a news conference in Harare on Monday that his province was fully behind the First Lady and had expressed that position in a letter sent to party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo. He declined to entertain further questions from the media over the issue. Midzi yesterday told a press conference in Harare that the provincial elections directorate sat yesterday and decided to back Grace for a central committee post.

“We are pleased to also announce that as a province, in addition to supporting Amai Grace Mugabe for the position of national secretary for Women's Affairs, we have decided to reserve a central committee position for her,” Midzi said.

There was talk that Harare was frantically trying to deflect criticism over Grace’s recent appointment.

Muchinguri, however, vowed yesterday that the men involved would never get rid of Grace.

“We are not bothered by that,” Muchinguri told the Daily News.

“As women, we are firmly behind Amai Mugabe and who is opposing this? That is the problem we are always talking about when we say men are meddling in the affairs of women.

“Women’s affairs are for women and we do not want any interference. We do not want to be told what to do. It is the men who are interfering and they also use violence.”

This is not the first time the fiery Women’s League boss has spoken out against interference by men. Ahead of the Women’s League conference earlier this month, she called on men to stop meddling in the women’s congress.

“This is a women’s conference, we do not want men to interfere, unless they want to wear dresses, they should not interfere,” Muchinguri charged.

During the same conference, President Robert Mugabe also decried interference by senior party officials in women’s affairs.

“What was most shameful was the interference by senior people from the politburo that was very dirty indeed,” Mugabe said.

“At the December congress, all of us must resign so that new people are elected. The politburo and central committee, we must all resign.”

Muchinguri, who will step down at the December congress, said Grace would take over as Women’s League secretary despite mounting resistance.

“There is no difference,” Muchinguri said.

“She will be doing the normal duties of the secretary.”

According to the Zanu PF constitution, the role of the Women’s League is to “promote the rights of women and remove all impediments to their development as full and equal members of
our society.”

Amid escalating dissent over the fast tracking of the First Lady, 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.

Her elevation is also viewed as a way to contain vice president Joice Mujuru who until recently was touted as the heir apparent.

Comments (11)

Grace must now put stones & wear gloves to enlarge her fists so she can box men who reject her nomination. This is a real not imaginary fight.

NDIWOMUTAMBO WACHO - 27 August 2014

Garai nechinyika chenyu. Hatidzoki isu kumarara akadai..

Joyce Mujuruuu - 27 August 2014

Let the Mugabe learn the lessons from Egypt and Libya where dynastic rule almost came to fruition

Abri - 27 August 2014

Let the Mugabe learn the lessons from Egypt and Libya where dynastic rule almost came to fruition

Abri - 27 August 2014

As a woman, I back Amai, why not, she has the criteria and experience, she,s also in politics, surely that's what they talk about at home,,, please people, give her a chance, and anyways she,s standing for us women, I don't see a problem, she has to fight against these males that think they know what they are doing, and we will back her 100%.

Bankwe - 27 August 2014

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GALLERYCARTIDGES - 28 August 2014

Bankwe,you have the right as a woman to support Grace but don't lie to say she has any political experience simply because she is the president's wife. Grace is a novice but a political opportunist.

MAFIKEZOLO - 28 August 2014

Kuzvinetsera nzenza iyi?

Tony Blair - 28 August 2014

what does Grace know besides opening legs to every man who smell a bit of money and authority? she has experience in politics? gained where? she has just joined zanu officially and has never had any political position before. you mean bedroom political experience with zanu members of different shapes and sizes? uKAWANA NGUVA UKWANE, HANDITI?

Chemutengure vhiri rengoro - 28 August 2014

taurai dzimwe nyaya dzine musoro nyika yaparara iyi

MAI MUGABE - 28 August 2014

The Iron Lady,Oppah Muchinguri resembles ANC"s Baleka Mbethe by her bravery and decisiveness.Truelly, let the dice roll the way it will come December Congress and those who fail at party level cannot stop the wheels of leadership renewal at those levels reflecting ineptitude.The Youth Conference showed where the deadwood is concealed.

Aliphelithemba - 30 August 2014

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