Grace, the power behind the throne

HARARE - Hate her or love her, President Robert Mugabe’s feisty wife has proved to be a significant political power broker over the past few months that she has been in formal politics.

Both friends and foes also agree that there is little doubt that she is at the centre of the seismic changes that are taking place within Zanu PF, a sign that analysts say also indicates that she wields substantial influence on her nonagenarian husband.

Her controversial and phenomenal rise has set tongues wagging both inside and outside Zanu PF, and well beyond the country’s borders.

Grace was surprisingly nominated to lead the party’s powerful Women’s League in June this year, taking over from Oppah Muchinguri.

Following her nomination Grace embarked on her controversial “Meet-the-people” tour, which she successfully used to demolish embattled Vice President Joice Mujuru and all her perceived allies.

She called for Mujuru’s immediate resignation during these opaque rallies, threatening that failure to do so by the VP would result in action being taken to remove her from both her party and government positions.

She accused Mujuru of corruption, incompetence, fanning factionalism and working to topple her husband from power.

Mujuru’s perceived allies also came under the cosh during the rallies, with former Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde particularly becoming a major target and being accused of gross corruption, womanising and allegedly playing a central role in the murky plot to oust Mugabe from power.

She even publicly stated at one point that she disliked Kaukonde intensely, saying, “Kaukonde, ndakamumaka, (I have got him in my sights) big time”.

And true to Grace’s sentiments, which are now carrying the day, Kaukonde together with other provincial chairpersons that she bad mouthed all fell by the wayside in the party’s tumultuous build-up to this week’s congress.

After weeks of virulent attacks on Mujuru and her allies by Grace, her husband incrementally supported her, putting Mujuru under the spotlight.

So fouled did the relationship between Grace and Mujuru become that the two would not even shake hands on a number of occasions that Mugabe went on his external sojourns.

And after weeks of Grace’s frenzied attacks on Mujuru, she finally got her wishes at this week’s congress, with the VP’s brutal ouster from power — and with Mugabe reading from the same page as his young wife.

A central committee member aptly said yesterday that any Zimbabwean who “crosses Amai’s (First Lady Grace) path does so at their own peril”.

Indeed, Mugabe praised his wife this week claiming that she had stopped his would-be assassins dead in their tracks with her timely whistle-blowing — a sentiment that was repeated ad nauseum by his bootlicking minions throughout the week.

For example, National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda went to town praising Grace during the congress, claiming that her revelations had saved Mugabe from being toppled.

“Thanks to the revelations made by the mother of revelations Dr Mugabe, this helped us to know what was happening,” he said.

Grace herself boasted about how she had played a crucial role in Mujuru’s elevation to the position of vice president in 2004, and how now that she wanted the VP to resign immediately, there was no other way to go except down for Solomon Mujuru’s widow.

So destroyed did Mujuru become that she even failed to attend the “damp squib” congress fearing for her life.

This has left her immediate “rival” Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in the pounds seat to succeed Mugabe.

But all wise heads say it cannot be ruled out that Grace herself still has ambitions to succeed her husband.

This is despite the fact that some analysts believe that Grace is being used by some hardliners within the Mnangagwa faction.


Comments (7)

Foolish Mugabes and their game plan, where to from now. There is so much resentment within the civil servants that they will bring you down anyway, we will just go to work to chat chat at work and not work!!! Oppah is having nightmares coz she does not understand why Mugabe did not automatically appoint her to the position she had been promised and to Jonathan Moyo 'your project is completed' so pack your bags and go to Tijolotijolo!!

Garikayi - 7 December 2014

Years ago General Zvinavashe, left his military garb under the pretex he will be made vice president and that was the end of him. In public eye grace and mugabe appears to be singing from same hym book. Behind the scenes I think the story is different. In terms of zanu pf cult grace is out of line. Grace seems to be looking for a pact with other Hawks, for ill gotten wealth security. Thats a tradition move which mugabe all we know hates. Zanu pf has a lot of skeletons, and mugabe 's wife is a material witness character as she exhibited during her country tour and until to date which no hawk in zanu pf wants. Grace does not have power, but is an opportunist taking her chances aboard a pirate ship. She is likely to lose her post before the next elective congress through a Vote of no confidence. If mugabe is too choose which one to chew up first he will point to her wife. Mugabe does not like anyone accept himself.

X-MAN IV - 7 December 2014

the writer is not correct to say that Grace started the whole thing, rather she was used to start the whole thing. All this was planned beforehand i.e. the demise of Mujuru because she was now well positioned to become the next president, both of the party and country. All that has happened was with full blessings of the president, his quietness at the beginning was just part of the plan.

nyika ndeyedu - 8 December 2014

Mujuru was never positioned to take over any country. She herself told us that she had no ambition to rule, but was Mugabe's tea girl. Well, she stopped making good tea, and a better tea girl will be found!

Nduna - 8 December 2014

instrument of darkness telling you little truths.

selele - 8 December 2014

honestly now, so ashamed to be from this country right now mxm.

CV - 8 December 2014

Kli kli kli kliiiiiiiii, okungapheliyo kuyahlola! They applauded from the rooftops when he humiliated and butchered us in Matabeleland, now he has turned against his "very own". Who's next before it dawns to all of us what a monster this man has always been???

Khanyi kaSilwane - 10 December 2014

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