Grace Mugabe presidency unlikely

LONDON - There is no doubt that Grace Mugabe wields an immense amount of power within Zanu PF.

After a hiatus on medical grounds, she is back with the usual swagger and rhetoric.

Her remarks last week on Johannes Tomana, the prosecutor-general, and the call for his sacking after his comments on child marriages were in sync with popular sentiment.

The issue for debate, however, is why she, as a non-executive player, has the power to influence dismissal of State officials.

The revelation that vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko come to her for briefings and, like schoolboys, diligently take notes, is testament to her pervasive influence.

Again, questions arise about the source of such power. Not many first ladies enjoy this indulgence from executive authorities.

A conclusion gaining currency is that, because of her continued show of power, Grace Mugabe could be our next president, and not one of the two vice presidents.

She has also stated in the past that she is a citizen and therefore could not be stopped from aspiring to hold the country’s highest office.

But under what conditions would we witness a Grace Mugabe presidency? To some, this is a prospect that they shudder to contemplate.

The conclusion about such a prospect, however, seems to be based on two presumptions that appear cavalier.

Firstly, underlying the first presumption would, on one hand, be a conclusion that Grace Mugabe is in fact popular within Zanu PF.

Because of such popularity she will be voted in by Zanu PF supporters to become the next president.

If that is the case, then Grace Mugabe winning elections on account of her popularity should not be an issue for debate. It would be the result of electoral and popular democracy rather than dynastic rule.

However, the presumption of her electoral victory in a free and fair election would seem overstated.

Grace Mugabe is demonstrably a divisive figure to generate popular public confidence for her to win an election.

She is, to a large extent, responsible for the current convulsions within Zanu PF after she single-handedly saw off former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The presumptions that Grace Mugabe will become the next president would therefore need to take into account the fact that Zanu PF’s political base has changed.  She will be seeking election from a divided party.

While not impossible, a Grace Mugabe presidency through this route of free and fair elections under such conditions is improbable.  She is unlikely to garner sufficient numbers from a factionalised base.

The prospect of a Grace Mugabe presidency can only be based on another presumption, albeit more disconcerting.

Underlying this second presumption is a forgone conclusion that she would still become president whether the elections are free and fair or not.

Within this presumption is, troublingly, a sense of surrender because it entails an affirmation that indeed electoral democracy does not exist in the country.

Elections would, as usual, be manipulated to ensure her “victory.”

Given the conduct of elections in the country, then a Grace Mugabe “triumph” can indeed be envisaged under such conditions.

However, it is unlikely that opposition lethargy in the face of electoral malpractice will continue after President Robert Mugabe has departed the scene. Manipulation could result in external diplomatic intervention once more.

Zanu PF intra-party dynamics have changed; she is neither unifying nor popular and electoral manipulation will not guarantee her uncontested ascension to the presidency.

At worst, Grace Mugabe only comes across as an attention-seeking rouble-rouser animated by the trappings of uninterrupted power.

At best, she can become the “king-maker” by influencing the choice of her husband’s successor from whom she will expect the protection that Mujuru did not seem to guarantee her.

Comments (11)

Why is this news? wet dreams should be a private matter not for public consumption. it is impossible period.

Galore 123 - 7 July 2015

Mugabe has gone past retirement age as such he will not hand over power to anyone. Grace is simply committing political suicide at the 11th hour. Zanu pf Hawks are deliberately letting her to self destruct ahead of the final battle where boys will be separated from men. The one way traffic Grace enjoys will be gone. She will be on the receiving end for 1st time un-insured. Its impossible for her to be zanu pf boss.

X-MAN IV - 7 July 2015

Grace's power derives from her perceived unique access to pillow talk with a powerful old man. What happens to her then when there is no longer a head on that pillow beside her at night?

Ennui - 8 July 2015

its possible coz its inevitable that gushas has already handed over all his goblins and a bag of tricks to gire.

statesman - 8 July 2015

this Marie Antoinette called Grace will live to regret the day she married BOB and the day she started purging Mujuru and her allies. The purging of Mujuru and her allies meant that she created a lot of enemies which are waiting for her neck once Zimbabwe's elder joins his ancestors.

Big Meech Larry Hoover - 8 July 2015

Don't forget she likes power to an extend of marrying whoever has it.She may be mai ED soon and will continue weilding power without authority like she is doing now.Why did she fight hard for ED against JTM(N).She is used to bedroom politics anyway.

jukus - 8 July 2015

KKKKKKKKKKEst

skindo - 8 July 2015

Jukus , yes it is possible , Grace might spring a surprise . Let people ignore or dismiss her , but watch this space . Time will tell.

Dzasukwz - 8 July 2015

I thought ZANU always said they do not consider any non-combatants for the presidency. So why even discuss Grace at this juncture?

tonyme - 13 July 2015

maroto maroto kana grace asura akarara orota ari precident aowa tinoti ihope dzakashata idzo, musi unofa bob sisi Gire vachawacha , ari vari busy kuita jahwi revavengi bob paanodonha pasi Gire mujeri ranhamo kana kupinda pa run

Harare - 13 July 2015

Actually there is a big chance Grace can be the next president of zimbabwe, if Mugabe dies then rises from the dead i see grace becoming the president

Harare - 13 July 2015

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