Grace breathes fire over Mugabe fall

HARARE - A worried First Lady, Grace Mugabe, is said to be apoplectic about the alleged poor planning and response by President Robert Mugabe's aides when the nonagenarian fell at the Harare International Airport last Wednesday.

Sources told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that so angry was Grace — whom Mugabe has said is recuperating from a minor operation in Singapore — that she had allegedly demanded the heads of all the implicated people to roll, including those of some security details.

“She was raving mad when she heard of the incident and felt that his aides and security team were negligent in this unfortunate issue.

“As any spouse would do, she is clearly fearful that things could have turned really nasty on the day given the president's age and state of health, and is thus keen to see that this is never repeated.

“This is one of the reasons why petrified government officials and State media have gone into overdrive to try and play FROM P1

down the incident, and to abuse anyone who has shone a negative spotlight on the incident,” one of the sources said.

Another source claimed that Grace’s anger emanated from the fact that Mugabe’s aides had seemingly not planned the airport rally and podium arrangements well, as well as the fact that security details had allegedly taken too long to react to the nonagenarian’s fall.

“She is angry because President Mugabe’s staff knew very well that he has difficulty walking, especially climbing and walking down steps, but did not appear to have factored this in at the airport.

“And when he tumbled over, the security team appears to have been taken unawares, which calls into question their alertness,” the second source said.

The increasingly frail Mugabe fell after he had just finished addressing his supporters after returning from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he took over the rotating ceremonial chairmanship of the African Union.

Although he appeared unhurt after the nasty incident — which occurred in full view of gathered bigwigs, Zanu PF rank and file members and journalists — it triggered visible panic among senior government officials and security chiefs, who all scrambled to try and help him get on his feet and to ensure that he was alright.

It apparently did not also assist Grace’s mood that photographs and video evidence of the fall had leaked on the Internet almost immediately after the incident, and despite

assurances that the secret service had confiscated and destroyed all images that had been captured by the private media.

This had created suspicions about the source of the images and whether State media or Zanu PF officials and members had been complicit in the damaging leaks that made global news.

Aggressive security personnel moved promptly to force gathered photojournalists, including a crew from the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, to delete their prized pictures of the fall.

“There is a witch hunt as we speak to sniff out the sources of the leaks, amid reports that Amai wants those responsible to be severely punished.

“You must remember how allergic she is to these kinds of intrusions as exemplified by her negative reaction to a pesky photographer in the Far East a few years ago,” another source said.

It is understood that the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is now conducting an internal review to determine the facts around the president’s fall, although it is not known  when this is expected to be completed — with the results expected to guide any security adjustments and personnel actions that may be necessary to ensure the health and safety of the First Family.

Meanwhile, other sources claim that there are efforts to get respected former African heads of States such as Thabo Mbeki and ailing former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda to persuade Grace — the self-evident power behind the throne — to let Mugabe retire owing to his failing health and advanced age.

“It’s Grace who holds the cards and has the final decision if Mugabe is to retire, but no one is very optimistic given Grace’s behaviour,” one of the sources said.

Mugabe’s critics say it is now time for the nonagenarian to either resign or retire due to his advanced age and failing health. But empathetic opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said, “It’s very unfortunate even though it is understandable at his age. I hope he gets the medical attention he deserves.”

Sibongile Mgijima, deputy national spokesperson for Welshman Ncube’s MDC, said Mugabe must resign.

“There is everything wrong with a 91-year-old man who wants to pretend that his body is not succumbing to the natural process of aging.

“Most 91-year-olds use canes to assist them to walk. If president Mugabe had done the same, perhaps he could have prevented this nasty fall.

“It goes to show that he now lacks co-ordination with his brains. He can no longer continue to deceive Zimbabweans that he is both mentally and physically fit. It is time to leave office, stay home and tell stories to his grandchildren,” Mgijima said.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu weighed in saying Mugabe was “an old man” who now needed to seriously contemplate stepping down.

“He is soon turning 91 and at that advanced age, a person’s health and general physical fitness become severely strained.

“As the MDC, we have repeatedly stated on account of his increasingly failing health, as well as advanced age, that Mugabe is no longer fit for purpose.

“Here is a geriatric who gives himself an extremely punishing schedule as a husband to a relatively young wife, a father to children young enough to be his grandchildren, a president of a country whose economy is virtually comatose, the chair of both Sadc and the African Union, as well as being the chancellor of more than 12 State universities!

“His plate is rather too full for an ailing nonagenarian,” Gutu told our sister paper the Daily News, adding that it was regrettable that more often than not, Mugabe was “hopping from one aeroplane onto another”.

Evans Sagomba, a spokesperson for Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn, said given the events at the airport, it was high time Mugabe called it quits.

“It’s a big sign. It’s time for the old man to rest. Everyone was there and it’s a clear sign that they should let the old man rest. What more do you want? Everybody was there and it happened right in front of them, even the generals.

“We are not gloating over this. We can’t laugh at it because he is an old man. But it happened in a public place. They should have a meeting say the old man must rest. It’s a clear message,” Sagomba said.

Dewa Mavhinga, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said Mugabe’s fall was a sad development.

“His party and family should seriously talk about Mugabe’s overdue retirement and not scapegoat the fall as resulting from a poorly laid out carpet,” he said, referring to the spin by lickspittle State media about the alleged cause of the fall.

“The president’s upcoming 91st birthday this month is a good opportunity to seriously reflect on calling it a day,” Mavhinga added.

Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabweans have known since the country’s independence from Britain in 1980, in a region where most of the neighbouring countries have had up to six different leaders during the same time.

He has come under increasing political pressure at home — both from within and outside his ruling party — and is subject to travel bans in the European Union and in the USA because of allegations of gross human rights violations against him and his administration.

Comments (46)

Mugabe is going to fall down again if he insists on going up and down the podium steps or air stairs of an airplane. Mugabe likes to show off at these podiums. He just loves podiums but he is going to fall down again and there is no arrangement which will stop him falling unless he stops going up and down the podiums he so much loves. He will encounter podiums everywhere he goes on official duties including the Heroes Acre. The security derails cannot stop him falling because he has to go on the podium on his own or with a visiting head of state. He does not fancy a walking stick. One thing is - Mugabe will not retire and nobody will persuade him to retire. Only a stroke or total blindness will stop him being president. The man loves power. Nobody loves power more than Mugabe.

Musona - 9 February 2015

One sentence should read, "The security details cannot stop him falling because he has to go on the podium on his own or with a visiting head of state".

Musona - 9 February 2015

We salute you our President Cde Mugabe Robert. We sencerely sympathise with you when such mishap occurs in broad day light. Those who arranged a at the airport did not think the journey you have travelled. In Addis Ababa you did not rest and that was not taken into consideration when had to wait again at the airport. Miviri yedu inonetawo veduwee.

Bobopole - 9 February 2015

ko ari kurova zvinhu amai ndiani ndiye arikufurira amai kuti mudhara nagasasiye basa now amai is still overseas having areal festive holiday with the young man

chokwadi kuvanhu - 9 February 2015

I am fully behind the notion that heads must roll they neglected the President forget Mugabe but the President. Someone must apologies to us the nation why they let us see our President like that. They must go home its still raining maybe they can do some farming. They have shown us they cant protect the President saka ngavaende kunorima. For once i would say she is right they neglected him. It is pointless for Charamba and Moyo to say otherwise unless they planned it and are happy for the President to fall like that.

Lenny - 9 February 2015

“His plate is rather too full for an ailing nonagenarian,” Gutu told our sister paper the Daily News. So which paper is this???

nyamz - 9 February 2015

What has falling got to do with power. WHEN IS THIS VULGAR DEBATE GOING TO END . A human being who happens to be old tripped and fell. Babies learning to walk trip and fall does that make them power hungry. An idiot called Gutu of the ineffectual MDC party claimed being old is some kind of illness. Well then being an infant or adolescent is too. Nature is some kind of illness! Zimbabwe social media has exposed itself to have deep seated hatreds for the infirm. Look at our languages. If somebody annoys you people will say Isilima lesi or Chirema ichi. Why can we not go beyond the hate language. A human being who happens to be 90 tripped and fell. all the vitriol is exposing Zimbabweans to be sick. this publication has to take its responsibilities seriously and close this vile discussion

johnmoyo - 9 February 2015

Kutongwa ne harawa. Hezvo kave kudonha kega. Ndinohwa kunakigwa.

Der - 9 February 2015

I want to respond to John Moyo who is preaching about hate language yet he himself is practicing it when he chastises Gutu. TO BE HONEST I did not see anywhere where Gutu celebrated let alone claimed being old is some kind of an illness, the only thing Gutu said is the truth that Grace and Mugabe themselves know but believe is too inconvenient to admit. That Mugabe is too old; That him being too old makes him susceptible to these gaffes, namely walking gaffes, eating gaffes, thinking gaffes, sleeping gaffes, leaving gaffes, memory gaffes etc...simply because he is old. I think we have seen and heard enough of these gaffes unless we are deaf or dump. Had Mugabe not been a president or had he retired, people were going to sympathise with him, the only reason that makes Mugabe's fall perculiar and at worst laughable is he wants to behave as if he is a 16 year old and refuses to take a rest. This is the only bone Zimbabweans have to chew with Mugabe. Can this fact sink in some thick skulls?

tonderai gonzo snr - 9 February 2015

@Nyamz Its the Daily News on Sunday

Editor - 9 February 2015

kudonha uchigona kumuka shows that he is able.Everyone has ups and downs. Im glad the guy is back on his feet by himself. May i cramp yanga yabata gumbo. He is in good health anywhere. Asina kumbo domha muupenyu hwake ndiani?

mudyambanje - 9 February 2015

Maybe our president akange a stresser ndiyo valentine day which is around the corner

hombaz - 9 February 2015

This sounds like an invented fictional story. . . . .Where did it come from . ?. . Mugabe and his mafioso are widely recognized as a buffoons and psychopathic criminal idiots . . . .The Daily News would better spend their energies on exposing the new solidarity between Zanu PF and the liberal blind PC loonies from the west like Mrs Gera Sneller Dutch ambassador to Harare , Marxist oriented former Ambassador Aldo Dell'Ariccia, Barbara Jazoisse, . . .Former Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme, the European Union Ambassador to Zimbabwe ..Fortunately the German and US ambassador are not afflicted with the same advanced liberal brain diseases as are their European counterparts. .. . . .Notice that Van Damme prefers to give interviews to the Zanu pf bootlicking mouthpiece Zimpapers rather than to international and local media houses.of repute . .. . .Also take note that over the last ten years Zanu pf criminals have not changed their evil conduct one iota, yet the EU comrades keep on backtracking from their once moral and ethical high ground. .. .The EU is now clearly and unashamedly aiding and abetting the Zimbabwean criminal enterprise Zanu PF.

Fred Chunga - 9 February 2015

Can someone tell Mgijima that Mugabe does not have grandchildren as yet so he cannot retire to tell stories. Why he does not want a walking stick means he wants people to think he is still fit yet he is not so the aides thought 'Mudhara aribhoo anogona kana kutomhanya achidzika ma steps. By the way if all pictures were deleted where did the Herald get its picture, so the source is very easy, The Herald is one of them.

maita - 9 February 2015

Johnmoyo, many fall , young and old and we rush to symphathise and help, just ask why everybody seem to laugh at the falling down of this old man.Haadi tsvimbo haadi kunzi achembera unofa ukazvitaura saka akdonha vanhu vanoti honaiwo. By reading these stories and comments means you are actually telling us you enjoy the drama.

maita - 9 February 2015

"kudonha uchigona kumuka shows that he is able" iwe hanzi akazosimudzwa nema aides ake. Mudyambanje verenga mushe.

maita - 9 February 2015

this much publicized Mugabe fall episode should make sad reading to a normal person.considering the storm of media attention this has attracted, heads need to roll on those sunctioned to protect him.

fire links(able weathers) - 9 February 2015

"recuperating from a minor operation in Singapore." Abuse of state funds left right and centre. Zimbabwean state is picking up the cost of this minor operation, could it not have been done at Parirenyatwa?

Galore 123 - 9 February 2015

everyone of us fall irregardleess of age. its only that we will be not on camera. nezuro chaiye ndakadonha but i am only 30 years

wind - 9 February 2015

kuseka mutungamiriri wedu hakutipe chinhu. Kushaiwa hunhu ubuntu. kumba kwedu kunyangwe baba vaka kanya as many fathers do, we do not gang up with niebghors and laugh at him. there is a place for airing our views about the state of the economy and there is equally another place for emphathising with the hurting be it our leader or not. some of us being christians should fair better at this. there is not need for us to enjoy the misery of our leader.

taurai - 9 February 2015

wind nyarara, une ma winds iwe, mhepo dzako ndodzakakudonhedza kamudhara ako kane 90 yrs ngakazorore mhani.

tinorovawo - 9 February 2015

no need i meant.

taurai - 9 February 2015

I find no laughing matter in the President's fall. It's actually crying matter, crying not for him but for ourselves! We voted for Mugabe in 1980 because of whom he was. Are you sure he is still the same person today. Many are pushing forward the simplistic argument of 'who doesn't fall?'. I reply, who falls at an international airport, aged 91 and still being President of a country? We are simply saying our dear President should rest. Are we asking for too much? We are not saying elections should happen to replace him, no. We are simply asking him to choose his successor and take a big and long-deserved rest. If you or he can't understand this simple request, then we are in big trouble.

Kunda Kinde - 9 February 2015

Normal and sane people will rejoice when some one who is bringing misery to their nation falls . But as usual even satan has his followers that is why we have heard of satanists . So is evil Mugabe he will have some few confused dander heads calling him baba and felling sorry for him while the majority who are obvious sane will say toko yaro As of Grace all what she said is fake she is enjoying herself over there .Why blame security forces when Mugabe many times has said he is as fit as a stallion .Security guys can not lift the president every where may be nurses . The only solution is a wheelchair for him then the security guys can push him around .But heish !!!! he is a moving grave. suwa nyinisi he is no longer indoda sibili even Grace knows that .

Diibulaanyika - 9 February 2015

"fit as a fidle" "Slip of a tongue" Slip on a carpet" This all hype and social media frenzy is what Mugabe gets for living in denial and secrecy. Heads must roll" FOR WHAT?' Mugabe's knees gave in full stop. Maybe heads must roll in the far east because it looks like "the medical re-juice/ re-boot did not work. Its inevitable mugabe will die at some point and Heads must roll again". Thats nonsense!

X-MAN IV - 9 February 2015

how many of you can fall in style like the pres? simudzai maoko tione.

selele - 9 February 2015

The Mugabe's have a culture of blaming others for anything that doesn't go right for them. It's time to accept responsibility for your own actions including political and economic.

Buffalojump - 9 February 2015

Akomana nothing fan abt this let us be humans and respect our head of state

kondo - 9 February 2015

It seems all those who are supporting the old man wanopenga kachikwambo kenyu kaneta warume kachiita kunochinja mopiwa kamwe it was far much better.That old cant yaneta haiisiri engene even engene ikazochunjwa oil wani.pasi nayemheni

jimalo - 10 February 2015

Much as i don't like Grace, i think this article is all speculation and is the wish of the author and “analysts” that she is/must be furious. No way in the article is it shown that Grace is furious. Not even a single quote from her. Speculation indeed. Speculative journalism is trash

Khulu - 10 February 2015

The President is old and that needs no specialist to prove. The President is still demonstrating some strength. However, on the aspect concerning His aides, the guys are bad apples to tell the least. The CIO has a leader who is loyal to Mujuru and would want an opportunity to embarass the President. Now, the cool way to deal with this is to make all concerned fall the 'actual fall'.

Chavunduka - 10 February 2015

aaa isu dai tawanawo kudya semadyiro arikuitwa nevezanu chete.nzara

kuda kwavo ngakuitwe - 10 February 2015

ko pa congress kuti pasi ne party yake....kikkkkk kupenga chaiko.ngaarambe achitonga

potso - 10 February 2015

An educated fool, without any wisdom

Nature - 11 February 2015

i dont see anything funny abt the falling of our president, honestly, if you try to think deeply abt this you will note that laughing at our President is as good as laughing at ourselves, ofcourse he has mistakes but kuty vadonha aizviite it outs bad publicity to our country and also its bad omen kudonha kwemunhu which has a great imapct in our lives so ngatisangofarire zvese zvese.

rumbi - 12 February 2015

zvakaoma chokwadi wish you the best president

kodokodo sekuru vavo - 12 February 2015

Is this the same Grace you said she was in intensive care and battling for life? If you say one lie, then be prepared to say 10 more. kikikikikiki. I dont care about the fall but either you are now telling lies or you once lied.

jore - 12 February 2015

Mugabe did not actually fall. He was just dancing the hustle!!

gibgib - 15 February 2015

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