Where's Grace?

HARARE - First Lady Grace Mugabe’s unexpected and unexplained withdrawal from the public domain for the past three weeks has set tongues wagging about her real state of health, as her husband has continued to globe-trot alone or in the company of his married daughter Bona.

And as President Robert Mugabe’s normally publicity-mad wife evades the limelight, speculation is rife that she may be seriously unwell, having undergone what her husband said was an appendix operation in Singapore late last year — even though this supposedly minor procedure kept her away from the country for more than two months, recuperating.

Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, was not picking up his phone yesterday to offer his insight into Grace’s whereabouts as the nonagenarian embarked on yet another costly foreign trip yesterday, this time to Algeria — following his visits to Singapore, Japan and Namibia last week alone.

His Algeria sojourn means that Mugabe will have flown more than 50 hours, and tens of thousands of kilometres by the time he comes back home later this week — amid talk that he is scheduled to go on the road again then, on African Union business.

The 50 hours on the plane also mean that the president will have spent more time flying than he has spent in Zimbabwe since he embarked on his trip to Singapore and Japan, where he controversially included Bona as part of his official entourage, in the absence of Grace.

But the spokesperson of the Zanu PF Women’s League, Monica Mutsvangwa, also the deputy minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, told the Daily News yesterday that Grace’s reported illness was “mere speculation”, adding that the league — headed by the first lady — continued to hold its meetings as usual.

But asked specifically whether Grace was attending those meetings, Mutsvangwa said cryptically, “Our meetings are not supposed to be held through the media. The first lady is attending the meetings because she is our secretary”.

Upon returning from her Singapore medical holiday last month, Grace herself declared that she was feeling strong, and that she was ready to drive the Women’s League agenda forward.

However, she has to date not been personally associated with many public engagements, apart from attending Mugabe’s lavish birthday jamboree last month and officiating at the commemoration of the International Women’s Day on March 6, with her husband only saying recently that she was still recuperating from her Singapore operation.

Speaking at the airport, on her return from the Far East, Grace also revealed that she had had another surgical operation to remove her tonsils in 1996, and that she had also had her gall bladder removed in 1996.

The growing speculation around her absence from the public domain reached fever pitch  when she failed to accompany Mugabe to Japan and Namibia last week, and again at the weekend when Mugabe officiated at the centenary celebrations of Kutama High School.

And when Mugabe left for Algeria yesterday alone again, this gave further fodder to social media tittle-tattle that all was not well with Grace.

In a cryptic speech at Kutama, Mugabe who is also the chairperson for both Sadc and the African Union, said without elaborating, that he was a worried man — with the frail-looking nonagenarian also telling the gathered current and former students that he had arrived late for the event because he had only slept for two hours on Saturday night.

“I want to thank you all for coming. I was disjointed because we came back at midnight yesterday. I had two hours of sleep and ... I have the habit that if I have something that worries my mind, my mind sleeps on it and I constantly jump out of sleep and say is it not time, is it not time. That is why we were a bit late in coming to this function,” Mugabe said.

It was not clear whether part of the president’s stress related to Grace’s health condition, his own health, or the myriad political and economic crises bedevilling the country, including growing calls by even Zanu PF luminaries that he steps down.

Observers said yesterday, that considering Grace’s expressed desire to not just control the influential Women’s League, but also national State matters, including the question of who should succeed her husband, her current absence “is a sign that all is not well”.

Social commentator Stephene Tsoroti said yesterday that Zimbabweans could read a lot from the appearance of Bona as Mugabe’s chaperone in Japan, as this pointed to the fact that he was now relying heavily on his family for support, especially since his embarrassing fall at the Harare International Airport.

Comments (27)

Grace is not a public servant or civil servant so let us leave her alone and deal with our absentee landlord. He has been visiting us for short periods these days and we want him more here now. I hope he will not be attending the Singagpore funeral of the Founding Prime MInister

Qawe laMaqawe - 24 March 2015

I just wish to hear kuti Grace afa, that will be a joyful day for us Zimbos. I dont mean the minority I mean the majority of Zimboz. Atleast kaMdara kanenge kasara karikega manje. Dai Grace wangofa first before the president of zambia. Hate me or like me . I dont and will never ever like Mugabe and his wife and children. maybe zanu pf after his departure from the ,mother land

Gushaaz - 24 March 2015

grace is in south Africa. that is where she is ask everyone at munhumutapa building. she has been there for the last two weeks. she is fine and walking strong in sandton city with her bodyguards.

farai - 24 March 2015

I personally dont like Dzungu ne greediness ya Grace, but to wish someone dead like Gushaaz is not right

lodza - 24 March 2015

Lodza what is the reason of having such people like grace and mugabe alive if they can give a word to kill, rape innocent people. I know its not right to wish someone dead but on these blood vampires I dont feel sorry for them and handidzoki kumashure. Where is Itai Dzamara right now. If Mugabe had not sanctioned it dai vanhu vakazviita vakaonekwa kudhara. I will not and repeat I will not wish the mugabes to live the next minute I wish them dead dead yes dead such animals

Gushaaz - 24 March 2015

i agree

vimbai - 24 March 2015

Gire wagwara guys.

Sizzle - 24 March 2015

I wish Elizabeth Macheka would drop dead today!

godfrey gudo - 24 March 2015

KKKKK Godfrey who the hell is Elizabeth, we dont care!!!! She is a non event but the one yes we wish.

UNCLE REAL - 24 March 2015

She has decided to STOP IT!

Hango Yapalala - 24 March 2015

Pamberi naGIRE. Pamberi naROBIE. Pasi naTSVANGSON chimutengesi, chakatengesa Itai Dzamara. Izvozvi chakadzoka negwama remari, imwi moti is a good and better replacement for cde Bob.Pepukai manhi.DZamara is hidden and sold by Tsvangirai.Dont be fooled by these people,they know where they are hiding him

Tsikamutanda - 24 March 2015

kuti aropo mwoti dai asipo. kuti asipo mwoti dai aripo zvino munodei mazimba? why do you want to know of the whereabouts of the first lady? hupenyu handimi munopa saka mucha pfidza neshungu iye mugabe naadzimai vake vachifayirwa nehupenyu. better kuita zvinokubatsirai pane kuswero nyora zvisina basa.

taurai - 24 March 2015

Guyz let's not rejoice someone's sorrow. Yes Grace and robert wronged the country but we must not wish them to die lets prey for them so that they may be well

chikomba chagrace - 24 March 2015

Musanyeperana Amai havasi kurwara paweekend vanga vachitori paMasaisai Primary School kuSPORTS Day her school was taking part

CHATUNGA JNR - 24 March 2015

Reality check!! She has seen that the future is bleak and engaged neutral gear ahead of the zanu pf final battle. Its sad because its too late.

X-MAN IV - 24 March 2015

How many farms and parlaces does Grace have? And how many nights has she slept in these parlaces this year? Compare her with Janet Smith, just one farm. Is this why we fought for independence? Independence so that grace can have 16 farms, 5 parlaces in Zimbabwe and an unknown number in foreign countries. ZVICHAPERA manje manje.

Speedy Kumhanya - 24 March 2015

Grace Mugabe chased away the Hwata svikiro at Pagomba in Mazowe.The svikiro has come back to revenge.

Kufandada - 24 March 2015

She is praying at Peter Pamire's grave whilst chief soft-dick is away. . . . . .

Nimrod Gilford Chombo - 24 March 2015

Chakanakira Mwari ndechekuti vanoda munhu wese anotadza neasingatadze. chemwezve nde chekuti Mwari vega ndivo venesimba rekuuraya munhu. zvakare Mwari vanoregerera munhu wese chero akauraya chaiye vanoregerera. ku Judger ndekwavozve. zuva rekufa kwe munhu wese akasikwa naJehova renozivikanwa naiye musiki wedu. iwe urikuti afe asi Mwari varikutotora makore ako ekurarama vachiwedzera a Grace na President. pese paurikuti ngavafe, Mwari varikuwedzera makore ekurarama kwavari.

munhu - 25 March 2015

Zimbabwe marwadzo guys,

Soultaker - 25 March 2015

Why does anyone care? We should all play the game "Where is grace" Under the bed, in the tree, playing with the dog? Where is grace.

George - 26 March 2015

Are you telling us that Zimbabwe is Graceless? We are a joke to the world and now we are Graceless. Shame on us.

Peter - 26 March 2015

"Ngaaende ngaaende..." or is it "Ngavaende ngavaende..." singing zvangu. Hapana chisingaperi

True Zimbo - 26 March 2015

Grace is like a whirl wind, chamupupuri just before the last Congress. Chamupupuri chakatora some politicians

Chamu Phiri - 27 March 2015

kuti pane hure rinodarika Grace muZimbabwe yese handifungi!

stomper - 29 March 2015

pane anokwanisa here kuudza sangano kuti ndivanani vakaita ma-affairs nekedu Gire?

stomper - 29 March 2015


CAKE - 30 March 2015

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