Panic over Grace illness

HARARE - A deadly cocktail of uncertainty, panic and fear has gripped many notable Zanu PF officials who either rose up their party structures or clung onto their positions at the height of the ruling party’s ugly infighting last year, riding on the coat-tails of influential but now ailing First Lady Grace Mugabe, the Daily News has learnt.

This comes as Grace’s withdrawal from the public domain over the past four weeks, as well as the unexplained extent of her illness, continues to set tongues wagging — with Zimbabweans speculating furiously about her well-being and what this means for President Robert Mugabe, Zanu PF and the country.

Mugabe’s normally publicity-mad wife has not been seen in public since early this month,  and was recently reported to be unwell by her top ally and politburo member Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri — who, however, did not give details about the extent of Grace’s illness.

The first lady also underwent 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.

Well-placed Youth and Women’s League sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said many officials in the two structures who were close to Grace were now allegedly being bullied and victimised by their more powerful colleagues who had not benefitted from the first lady’s combative politics of the past few months.

In the meantime, Grace herself apparently returned to Zimbabwe from Dubai on Friday aboard an Emirates flight, but did not — once again, accompany her globe-trotting husband who left the country on Saturday, first for Tanzania, and then for Ethiopia — choosing instead to retreat to the First Family’s “Blue Roof” Borrowdale mansion.

“Many of us who are close to Dr Amai (Grace) and others who benefitted from her dramatic entry into formal politics last year are reeling at the moment in her absence. We fear that things could get worse for everyone if Dr Amai does not return to her (Women’s League) duties soon,” a Youth League official said.

Analysts also concurred yesterday that her continuing failure to attend to her duties would not bode well for her Zanu PF faction, with Maxwell Saungweme saying her dramatic entry into formal politics last year had created another centre of power in the ruling party, thereby weakening it.

“To some extent, this undermined the power that her husband wielded in the eyes of many,” Saungweme said, adding that her prominent role in the ouster of former Vice President Joice Mujuru had created more problems for Mugabe and heightened factionalism in Zanu PF.

“Grace became a centre of power, her husband is another, the Gang of Four is another, (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa is another and Mujuru and her Gamatox crew are another centre of power.

“Her absence really deals a blow to her own centre of power and her hangers-on such as (newly-appointed minister of State for Masvingo Shuvai) Mahofa.

“She created a lot of confusion which she can no longer properly manage during her extended absence. The more she is out of the picture, the more the confusion is for her followers, the party and the country,” Saungweme said.

Contacted for comment yesterday about the whereabouts and state of health of Grace, Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said, “I am in a meeting and I will send a statement later”.

Senior researcher with Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, said Grace should leave politics and rest, “instead of creating confusion”.

“She has immense influence in the party and there is a perception that she is a centre of power and clearly her allies are worried about her prolonged absence.

“However, this has no major political implications. Given that she is unwell, the best decision for her when she comes back would be to leave politics altogether and concentrate on her well-being and that of her family,” Mavhinga said.


Comments (29)

May God deal with Mugabe and Grace for perpetuating our suffering, for dancing to the wailing of our mothers and children, and for drinking from a cup full of our brother's blood! Take them quick!

Pidigori - 31 March 2015

Chimusoro wanyanya chimusoro hehede chimusoro!!!

Takaz - 31 March 2015

hama, lets not celebrate others' problems. Shoko rinoti bless all that includes those who persecute you. Christians should be the last to wish anyone harm. if the first lady is unwell, I wish her well and that she will recover from her ailment.

taurai - 31 March 2015

Arwara arwara there is nothing much anybody can do with that. If this Dr DisGrace and husband are ailing they must just retire and enjoy their mansion before we auction it away and recover our money that we suspect could have gone into constructing the mansion GOD SAVE THY PEOPLE. Get well soon Grace and I an sure you will have felt how GOD deals with those you stray into the wrong direction. Mwari akurova ngeshamhu!.

Garikayi - 31 March 2015

You can write whatever you want. This is based on pub talk. Unfortunately when it comes to voting you are in the minority. Remember your headline on the eve of the 2013 election: Game Over with supporters of tsvangison in the background. What happened on election day. So you can continue writing all the rubbish that you want!!!!

godfrey gudo - 31 March 2015

@garikai...well said mate, this is the time to repent mai mugabe, zvekupota uchikonzera kuti vanhu vese vasawirirane hazvina kunaka, kutora ma farms ese kudii everything, for a First Lady that was really deplorable behaviour that you exhibited late last year. I think if you are wise enough it would be better to leave politics alone because you clearly have no idea about it. I'm sure your husband to some extent regrets why he got you into politics because that created a lot of headache for him old as he is. I think you two should quit, Grace is sick, Robert sick and old!! Time to go or the Lord God will punish you two a lot more. This is a warning fro the Almighty!! Watch out!!

redemption - 31 March 2015

King Mzilikazi's spirits are restless and causing havoc in the Gukurahundi Mugabe family, after all the showering of insults on the Matebele people. What with the Mugabe bicycles and eGoli insults during the 2013 elections and Grace's latest in Gwanda last year against Mthwakazi men. As our elders say; "what the great King Mzilikazi put together; no man shall put asunder". There you have it!!

Phunyukabemphethe - 31 March 2015

if Disgraces repents it will be a miracle the woman has a heart of stone . Those children from the SOS home that she evicted to make way for her place their tears are falling on her

- - 31 March 2015

Grace , s death will be a game changer for Zimbabwe. She has proved to everybody that she is more effective on making things happen than any of the current crop of politicians in Zanu PF. Whether it's bad or good the point is she changed the landscape politics of Zimbabwe know to be dominated by men. I doubt if Mugabe will survive long with Grace, Those who have been bucking about the president to continue in office, may be its time to come out with a new strategy. Otherwise your days are numbered.

Dzasukwa - 31 March 2015

The Daily News. The only newspaper that posts the editor's comment as the headline.

Francis - 31 March 2015

If i may ask this reporter if his mother is alive, the answer is definitely no, so whats wrong with Grace passing on, how many have said Mugabe dead, Mugabe is dying, and yet they have led the way to the grave themselves?. Only idiots keep on pondering about a natural process which befalls every living thing on this planet. You are more more of toilet paper than a newspaper.

reason - 1 April 2015

Why I have joined the 'President Mugabe Must Step Down' Campaign and the #BringBackItaiDzamara Campaign At the time Itai began his calls for the Occupy Africa Unity Square until Mugabe steps down campaign I was truly enticed to join him. As a mother of three children, who lives from hand to mouth with a husband whose salary comes in dribs and drabs I really felt the current leadership had failed us and deserved to step down . My anger at the time was worsened by the fact that as we were struggling the leaders we are said to have voted for were living lavishly and spending exorbitant sums of money on their daughters' weddings. There is nothing wrong with celebrating your child's wedding for it is a truly joyous moment but as a leader you also learn that your allegiance goes beyond your immediate family to the rest of the people who 'voted for you'. How can you spend US$3 million on a day's event when the rest of your citizens are scrapping for survival and barely managing to provide daily meals for their children?

Mai 2 - 1 April 2015

Anyway back to the Dzamara issue, upon consultations with friends and relatives on my desire to join the campaign I got so much negative feedback. Understandably so, they all feared for my well-being and life as the regime is known for its brutality in the face of open resistance. My argument was that if we all felt in our homes that the President had over stayed and was failing us as a people then why then were we all murmuring quietly in our homes and not coming out in the open to express our displeasure. If Dzamara's campaign were to be successful how do we celebrate with him when we were hiding in the comfort of our homes and he took all the risk? I also felt that if all disgruntled citizens were to join Itai in Africa Unity Square the state would most likely respond viciously but they would also get the picture and be forced to realign their policies to suit the citizens' demands. At the time I was so dejected and felt that despite all the sacrifices my parents made to send me to school I was still struggling and barely managing to look after my own children.

Mai 2 - 1 April 2015

On realizing that I was adamant and more than willing to join the Occupy Africa Unity Square campaign Baba maTwins, my husband pleaded with me to let it go. He explained to me that the government would most likely deal ruthlessly with us and could even kill us. With tears in his eyes he begged me not to go as he would not be able to look after the children alone without my help. Though he agreed with the concept of calling on our leaders to address our plight as citizens, experience had taught him on the most likely end result of such a move. Since we are both orphans I realized he had a point because if anything were to happen to me there would be no one to help him to raise the children who are all less than 10 years of age. Sheepishly I agreed with my husband and watched from the 'comfort' of my home Itai Dzamara protesting on my behalf and for the rest of Zimbabwe's disgruntled citizens.

Mai 2 - 1 April 2015

As we drove to work on 29 October 2014 my heart skipped a beat on seeing newspaper headlines that Itai had been severely beaten by suspected ZANU (PF) youths before he was arrested by police for staging his peaceful sit-ins at the Africa Unity Square. My husband merely looked at me with that familiar 'this is what I was talking about' look. A few weeks later Itai was admitted in a Harare hospital after sustaining serious injuries from brutal assaults by more than 20 police officers. I was hurt and wondered what harm this young man was doing seeing as there were few takers to join him in his protest. Anyway all we could do was pray for his speedy recovery and God answered our prayers. A young man with the guts to fearlessly express his wishes and make the most of his rights as is enshrined in the country's constitution scared the regime that they had to batter him to near death.

Mai 2 - 1 April 2015

Now we had put that behind us and the regime has struck again, this time abducting Itai in broad day light. Where he is we do not know what his fate is we can only imagine. But this time I will not be cowered into silence, no. If by writing this article I will be taken away from my children then so be it. Besides what kind of Zimbabwe will my children inherit from my silence, a Zimbabwe where a mere 35 year old man is taken from his young children simply because he exercised his right as a citizen of Zimbabwe? Itai's wife is younger than me and his children younger than mine and they have all been left without a father. Had Itai's protests been successful my family would have benefitted immensely. But now his family is suffering because the state we are said to have voted for overwhelmingly simply cannot fathom being criticized in the public domain. All I can say to my fellow Zimbabweans is if Itai Dzamara can disappear in broad daylight so can you or your children. We are no longer safe in Zimbabwe and the longer we continue in silence the more unsafe we become. I for one have openly joined the 'President Mugabe Must Step Down' Campaign as well as the #BringBackItaiDzamara Campaign. I will not be cowered into submission and if I am taken from my children, I hope Baba MaTwins can explain to them the sacrifice I made in trying to make sure they have a better future and inherit a truly liberated and prosperous Zimbabwe. Mai Two Mai Two writes in her personal capacity as a disgruntled mother of three struggling for survival due to the government's poor policies.

Mai 2 - 1 April 2015

It is sad that Zimbabwe has come to the place that millions of people now actively wish and hope and pray for the demise of their president and his wife. But that is also the sad reality. For too many years Zimbabweans were afraid to say any thin and now they are venting their anger and frustration. If I was Zanu Puff I would be taking careful note of this and I would be putting my house in order which includes the peaceful step down of a man who has destroyed his nation and slain his people. It is never too late to turn back and begin to do the right thing until it is too late. To him who has ears let his hear.

TruthBTold - 1 April 2015

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The state of journalism in Zimbabwe is at an all time low. As usual ZimPapers leads the pack with its endless fiction, slander, defamation, bootlicking, fabrication, bias, delusion, and hallucinations. . . . . . Few Zimbabwe related 'stories' published are based on reality or fact. . . . Politicians and Public Servants are notoriously known to be congenital liars with their own biased agendas. Other so-called independent publications are similarly afflicted. . . . . International authors / journalists / stringers / spokespersons / plagiarists / “experts” such those scheduled below are hardly any better. . . . . Snuki Zikalala, Dianna Games, Peta Thornycroft, Sheila Galloway, Reason Wafawarova, Nelson Banya, Gwynne Dyer, Jane Fields, Shadreck Guto, Michael Holman , Mac Maharaj, Jan Raath, Andrew Meldrum, Alex Duval Smith, Ian Scoones, Angus Shaw, Brian Hungwe, Ginny Stein, Max Du Preez, Wiseman Nkuhlu, Alex Bell, David Smith, Christopher Hitchens, Christina Lamb, Charles Murray, Brian Latham, Jan Lamprecht, & Tafataona Mahoso. . . .. Who is going to lay out the overdue template for real professionalism in journalism in Zimbabwe?

Loveless Chitapi - 1 April 2015

If Grace dies Mugabe will marry Dr Mujuru and they will have a good wedding kikikikikikikikikikiki

Ngongongo - 1 April 2015

Watch this space Boko Haram,

TATEGURU - 1 April 2015

Watch this space Boko Haram,

TATEGURU - 1 April 2015

leave Grace Mugabe alone. Who has not fallen ill, for even once in their lives?

zindman - 1 April 2015

Let grace die in peace, RIP grace.

George - 1 April 2015

The bigger they are the harder they fall. Muromo uya waiti pweretetetetetetetetete, nhasi zii!!

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk - 2 April 2015

True, Zimbabweans have suffered at the hands of their self-enriching politicians, but frothing bitterly will only sap our mental energies which should be directed towards thinking up ways of making a future progressive Zimbabwe. I salute my fellow countrymen for being peace-loving and hardworking. Unfortunately those qualities have been taken advantage of by our self-serving leaders. I pray for a peaceful transition. God bless Zimbabwe!!!

nicodemus nyamasoka - 3 April 2015

Who IS Dzamara can Matamba write a book about him like he did with TUKU Maybe it will people to know kuti how popular is he and is he not another irresponsible pen pusher like him lets see you defend him and not exspose him like you did to TUKU

whywhy me - 3 April 2015

mai 2 im 100% behind you...tinosvikepi tichirarama kamuraramiro aka

toitasei nezvinhu zvakunetsa - 4 April 2015

the brutality of police is coming from the bribes they are getting from the roadblocks so they want the regime to stay for their benefit

mr honest - 7 April 2015

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