'Grace is ill'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe flew back from his long and controversial holiday in the Far East yesterday afternoon, and promptly made a surprise disclosure that he had left his increasingly influential wife Grace there due to illness.

The nonagenarian said Grace was recuperating after having undergone what he said was a successful operation for appendicitis in Singapore.

Addressing hundreds of bussed-in Zanu PF supporters, alongside securocracts and senior government officials on his arrival at Harare International Airport, Mugabe surprised his followers when he said he had left Grace behind because she was ill — as there had been no indication until yesterday that she was unwell.

“Amai had something bothering her and we said she should be checked.

“That was the time when we were away celebrating Christmas.

“You know appendicitis, maybe it’s God’s doing, to some it doesn’t affect them but to some it does.

“When you are eating it will be decaying bit by bit. So as time goes it gets wasted and it ends up hurting someone.

“And this is what was what bothering her and it was removed. It doesn’t have any use and doctors said so. It took Amai some time to discover what was bothering her and it was successfully removed.

“She was discharged from hospital the day before yesterday and I left her recuperating. Ndakati nhai imi (I said my wife) why didn’t you say stop it tichiseka zvedu (jokingly),” Mugabe said amid laughter from the supporters.

He added that the First Lady would be back in the country around mid next month — a throw-away line that raised concern among some of the gathered people as the kind of operation that Grace is said to have had is normally viewed by medical experts as relatively minor, that necessitates only a few days’ rest for patients.

Mugabe also disclosed that his wife had instructed him to tell the Women’s League, which she now chairs, to carry on with its work in her absence.

“Vakati endai neshoko rokuti hatimiri. Forward ever, backwards never (She asked women to continue with the struggle).

“Saka kuleague vanoti rambai muchienderera mberi ndirukuuya. Vakanzi imbozorora kwemasvondo maviri aNdira asi vanezenge vachiuya pakati paFebruary. (She wants the league do well, she was asked to rest for two weeks so we expect her in mid-February.)

“Ndakavasiya vachichema kuti ndaakuenda, tikati basa rinosungirwa kuitwa, saka tinenge tichinzwa kuti muri kufambasei mberi nekuzorora, nekupora,” added Mugabe. (When I left she was crying, but I pleaded with her that I needed to be at work, and we will be checking on her progress.)

In 2011, Grace was reportedly operated on her hip as well.

While Grace is bootlicked, sometimes embarrassingly by Zanu PF bigwigs — particularly since she fronted the stunning decimation of former vice president Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies — the First Lady has struggled to find favour with ordinary Zimbabweans.

Many of her critics derisively refer to her as “Gucci Grace” or “First Shopper” or lately “Hurricane Grace” or “Calamity Grace”.

A significant number of Zanu PF bigwigs also suspect that her dramatic entry into formal politics last year is a first step in her ultimate ambition to grab the leadership of both the ruling party and the country after Mugabe’s time.

After her “surprise” nomination as head of Zanu PF’s women’s league in August 2014, Grace accused Mujuru, the popular widow of the late liberation icon Solomon Mujuru, of untested allegations of corruption and plotting to topple and assassinate Mugabe.

Born on July 23, 1965, in South Africa, Grace (nee Marufu) became Mugabe’s mistress while working as a secretary in his office in the early 1990s. Both were married at the time, although the nonagenarian’s first wife, Sally Hayfron (from Ghana) was ailing and on her deathbed.

The couple wed in 1996 after Sally died and Grace’s former husband, an air force officer, Stanley Goreraza, was posted to China. She has three children with Mugabe, 41 years her senior, and a son from her previous marriage with Goreraza.

As First Lady, Grace initially shied away from the public spotlight.

In 2009, she punched a British photographer in Hong Kong for taking pictures of her. But she told a South African Broadcasting Corporation programme last year that she was no longer concerned about what people think of her.

It was also announced a few months ago that Grace had been awarded a controversial doctorate by the University of Zimbabwe, where her husband is chancellor, reportedly after enrolling for a Masters degree.

In addition, a road was named after her at the Harare venue of Zanu PF’s damp squib “elective” congress earlier this month.

Yesterday, marked about one-and-half months since Mugabe had taken leave and been on his controversial Far East holiday, amid a rising chorus of criticism of the nonagenarian’s continued absence.

What had upset many Zimbabweans was the fact that the country’s myriad challenges had seemingly worsened by the day in his absence, largely as a result of his ruling Zanu PF party’s escalating factional and succession wars.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News this week bemoaned the fact that neither the “World War Three” that had erupted in his party in his absence, nor the country’s worsening economic environment, as well as disasters such as the recent floods and bus accidents, had motivated the nonagenarian to come back home.

This prompted one analyst to remark that he had “earned himself a significant place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only head of State who spends so much time on holiday outside his own country”.

Since Mugabe was barred from travelling to Europe more than a decade ago, he has been enjoying lengthy and costly State-funded holidays in the Far East, while back home people continue to wallow in abject poverty.

It had not helped the national mood that Mugabe had never been reported to have spent his annual break either at home or even on the continent — despite his strong Pan-African rhetoric.

And the fact that Mugabe, who is the chairman of Sadc, had been conspicuous by his absence from the recent inauguration of the new

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, had also ignited speculation around his whereabouts, health and political game plan.

Comments (38)

Finally the extended holiday's over but the wife remains behind on government funding for weeks. Our liability has clearly extended to his wife. Back home we've to look after the husband.Yet we punished Ndabaningi Sithole for flying to see his sick child in the US.Yes, brainless Zanoids'll quickly counteract by saying,that was during the war.But how many mistakes has RGM done heavily costing Zimbabwe?Well,well ,time will tell...

PAMUROMO CHETE - 23 January 2015

This illness is more than the one the old man is describing. Judging from her outburst during the so -called 'Meet the people' crusades it was clear amai was sick. She is also mental ill. How could a mental sound person move around with CCTV spying on Mujuru? "Chasi ndakamumaka big time" " Kaukonde .....fake smile" I suspect she is a psychiatric hospital.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 23 January 2015

Saka kuno hakuzororoki nhai! Tiri kuzviona utenda huripo apa. Plus zvekutaurwa nen'anga iya kuti ndaona First Lady washaya. Mudhara haana zororo. Ukowo Mutasa ari kupaumba hameno ifirimu chairo

wanguc - 23 January 2015

long and controversial in what sense?????

JOHN MASINARE - 23 January 2015

Loosing weight is a sign of some serious illness . The woman had lost weight and her looks were suspicious her husband just scrapped on the surface he can not reveal everything its family secret Hey asazi madoda.. Pitigori achayenda anga chinyanya f_____king.

Diibulaanyika - 23 January 2015

She is favoured by the million vendors we now have, who are untouchable.

ignatious - 23 January 2015

There is a lot on the story of Grace's illness.Something fishy is going on.

wongororo - 23 January 2015

An ill first lady is not good for any one. I wish she gets well soon so that she can exchange blows without fair. Zvekuzonzwirana tsitsi hatidi.

selele - 23 January 2015

ko ivo zvavauya ko iye Grace asara nani?hapana kurwara vaona kuti vaover stayer chete.ko iyo passport yakawedzerwa mazuva here kuti titi munhu anga achirwirirwa.kuvhara chete since ane mazuva akawanda arovha basa.yes kana grace achirwara ko ivo vakakumbira ani kuti velabour vasavafaye pabasa.only a fool can agree to that,iye aifanira kudzoka kubasa akasiya bona naamai vake.there is no difference kumirira grace achirwara uchirovha basa,still wamusiya achirwara wauya hapana differ apa utsotsi chete.ehe madzoka chibvisai munangagwa.Vakuudzai here kuti musipo akauraya vanhu 3 in number.mungada here kuti arambe ari pachituro uku achipedza povho?kana kuti ndimi makamutuma.ehe kana musiri imwi ngaabve pachinzvimbo pliz ooo.TO TELL THE TRUE MASIYA AMAI BECOZ MUNOVATYA.U WANT TO FREELY MAKE CHANGES VASIPO PAMWE VAKATOFA WE DNT KNOW.STOP TO BE REMOTE CONTROLLED NAMUNANGAGWA OPEN UR EYES.YES TOZIVA KUTI MUNOKAVHIRANA BUT HONDO YAKAPERA NGAZIPERA ONE DOG 4 ITSELF .

abraham zeka - 23 January 2015

Grace fell ill while on holiday? The Mugabe I know tells lies all the time. I would not trust him to tell me the right time of day. Events are too precise for it to be a mere coincidence. Grace suddenly falls sick while there are in Singapore, during their annual holiday, where Mugabe normally goes for treatment!!! I remember press reports on 15 July 2014 when Mugabe was reported to have visited the Trauma Centre the day before - the report did not give more information as to who Mugabe was visiting or why he went to the Trauma Centre. http://www.dailynews.co.zw/articles/2014/07/15/mugabe-visits-trauma-centre had this anything to do with Grace's illness? Was the operation in Singapore pre-planned? All the children including the daughter and hubby (rather unusual for a son-in-law to go on holiday with in-laws in the Zezuru tradition) - were they aware Grace was going to have an operation? What of that photo of the family appearing to be normal? What was that for? Uh??? I am always sceptical to such things not least if it's from Mugabe. Was she unwell during the meet-the-people meetings? Connecting the dots….

Musona - 23 January 2015

Riots are going to kick off very soon in Zambia. The final presidential results are not yet out and already they are disputes over the counting. In African countries elections are followed by riots. Election results are too close for one party to concede defeat.

Musona - 23 January 2015

Svichigwara neikovo zvimweihosha zai rongodhuvuka roshaiwa vukasha , zvino hwemukweguri hwongoita sejongwe rinoti chovo chovo zii hwumwe hwuchipfacukira pasi

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 23 January 2015

Most if not all that has anything to do with zanu pf is suspicious. I can only say God save the evil grace for the final zanu pf battle after Mugabe era. She must be fit for the coming war.

X-MAN IV - 23 January 2015

Zimbabweans, By now I had thought we had all come to our little agreement, albeit unannounced nor penned down, that lets not wrestle the Mugabes, lets leave to stew in their own fat mess, when you cook borrowers you don't put a lot of fat coz its got its own fat already,that is the case here, just pray and increase the cooking fire of God to bring this to an expected end, okay i hear from a friend there is no mobile network in Some Lupane rural areas still, our government wants votes from the same people but leaves them locked in the dark stone ages.........this cruelity has to be seen to be believed.....it's cruelty funded/organised/run by a cabal of university brains, degrees in oppressing others, yet by day the same people spout verses ans speak of fearing God, we will see, we have nowhere to look but the heavens where our only hope comes from....Ezekiel 18.....for ZanuPf and its brook of assassins.

Msuunuu - 23 January 2015

When you cook...borewoevrs

Msuunuu - 23 January 2015

The popular widow wht rubbish

john moyo - 23 January 2015

Mujuru is Popular with whom. She is just as corrupt

john moyo - 23 January 2015

Ayiwa mirai tikutipirei first Ngwena is smart chap, he now has Mudhara firmly in his palm. Ngwena phoned mukuru we Presidential security wataifamba naye kuti aite pass on the message yekuti , they have reliable inteligence reports dzekuti there is a hitman hired to take out amai because the notion within the gamatox crew is that Mudhara is no longer the stumbling block to them getting power(as nature will take its course soon rather than later) but rather it is amai who has to be taken out and the power dynamics will change immidiately as Ngwena is viewed as a lame duck in the absence of amai. Our personal opinion is that Ngwena has cooked up this story to curry favour with the first family as he goes into overdrive to prove his loyalty and subservience to them.Meanwhile the first family has fallen hook line and sinker for this intricate plot hence the absence of Amai and the cooked up stories of her illness otherwise she is fine, injanji chaiyo

Taivenavo ku Singapore - 24 January 2015

Do you remember Tongogara's video clip before his death in 1979? Zanu PF is all about fighting a SYSTEM that is not fair to other people no matter what race, colour and creed.He didn't mind being in the echelons of the government. Such is a spirit of democracy not what is happening now. We're being ruled by a minority government , period . So Gumbo is right.

Hlongwane - 24 January 2015

Disgrace fell ill while overstuffing her face with good food while others go hungry should the be the headline probably up to more shady deals

Icho - 24 January 2015

My take of the whole situation is as follows - The real purpose of the visit was for Grace's operation: holiday-cum-hospital operation. Grace's illness was not sudden. This was elective surgery. She must have fallen seriously ill back on the 14 July 2014, when she was admitted to the Trauma Centre, but was probably told that an operation was necessary but could be done at a time of her choice. She couldn't very well be operated in a Zimbabwean hospital. It's undignified for the family to be operated on in Zimbabwe. The Mugabes knew before hand Grace was going to have surgery but posted pictures on Instagram to fool people that this was a happy family out on holiday enjoying themselves. Had they announced Grace was going to have surgery beforehand you can imagine the media scrum at the hospital before and after. The Mugabes did not want to cause alarm and also give their detractors something to cheer about by announcing Grace's operation beforehand. All Grace's children were told, “Mum is going to have surgery so you have to be there”. That is why you had the child from Grace's first marriage there as well as the son-in-law who is now member of the “royal” family. It is unusual for a family to take their children who are in their early 20s or late teens, even married ones, on holiday. All the royal children were there to be with their mother as she recovers from the operation. Mugabe decided to come back early to stop the constant speculation. That's that one unpacked.

Musona - 24 January 2015

Zimbabweans are not clever. They are easily fooled and they do not complain. Grace's operation could have easily been done in Zimbabwe but Mugabe prefers hospitals abroad. I always look at the cost in view of the fact that Zimbabwe is a poor country and cannot afford to be profligate. An empty passenger plane will be despatched to Singapore to collect Grace and her family at the taxpayers' expense. Mugabe and family have no shame at all to waste money when people who voted Mugabe and ZanuPF into power wallow in poverty. This only happens in docile Zimbabwe where Mugabe is not accountable to anyone. I have known Mugabe since 1960 I have not seen any reason why he is lionised by people in Zimbabwe. To me he is a nasty piece of work.

Musona - 24 January 2015

mmm Grace is not ill. She is running away from the opening of parliament. remember the boos she got last time.this time she will get more boos.chihure

mahippos - 24 January 2015

THE WORLDS WORST DICTATOR- ROBERT MUGABE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1t6wJf6U48

Simba - 24 January 2015

I saw it coming for Grace all those witches she was insulting and forced them out of their money making political party zanu would not just go without bewitching her never . She will pay dearly for what she did to these well known witches . Never play with these magogos and madala you will die so early Grace . Meanwhile I had a dream in it I saw James Makamaba visiting Grace where ever she is .

Diibulaanyika - 25 January 2015

Poor madam, she bit off more than her shoes could Choo....

Janet - 25 January 2015

why do we need to know what ailment this hure is suffering from. it is her private business and not the nation's business.we do not need to know.If only grace would die wherever she is .zihure

MAHIPPOS - 25 January 2015

Siyanai nemunhu. Munhu anorwara asi kufa mutemo wa Mwari

Jokonia Mangere - 26 January 2015

Grace must eventually die hard-muroi wehama

mbeu - 26 January 2015

So Mugabe says he is needed back at work. Which work would that be or did he mean the continued destruction of this once beautiful country. He wouldn't know real work if he tripped over it!

saundy - 26 January 2015

Zimbabwe is hyena republic were leadership are serving their stomach , look at Mugabe's regime has among other things reduced what used to called bread basket of Africa now similar to Nigeria with people scrambling for left over's all over the world. Mugabe legacy would be self enrichment, killer, murderer, corrupt leadership, dictatorship, vampire state whose President survive on human blood and flesh. What a shame to call yourself Zimbabwean in a civilized world.

Leo Mugabe - 29 January 2015

Probably she is spending all the taxpayers money doing up her home in Singapore on the pretext that she is ill and shopping and living it up

Povo - 29 January 2015

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