'Grace is nothing without Mugabe'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s increasingly influential wife — Grace — touted in some circles within the strife-torn Zanu PF as a potential future president, is revelling in borrowed robes, and her fortunes could plunge once her husband departs the political scene, a leading academic and political analyst has warned.

Former advisor to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and law lecturer at the University of Kent in the UK, Alex Magaisa, told the Daily News in an exclusive interview that the First Lady’s chances for the leadership of Zanu PF and the country depended on Mugabe actively supporting her bid.

“Before last year, if you had asked the same question, only a few people would have given it any serious thought. Now, however, after her controversial and rather noisy entrance into the political arena, it would be foolhardy to discount her.

“However, her chances depend on her husband leaving power voluntarily and supporting her bid before his demise. If they wait until after his demise, then she will have absolutely no chance because her political weight, which makes her look like a heavyweight, is borrowed from her husband and when he’s gone, he will take it away with him and she will drop down to the featherweight division,” Magaisa said.

“Right now she is revelling in her borrowed robes but the lender is her husband who, when he eventually goes, will take them to the grave. She has chosen to play an influential role in determining the post-Mugabe arrangement for self-preservation and protection.

“She is only 50 and the children are young. But her new role is a big gamble. It could either pay off very handsomely if she gets her way, or blow up in her face very unpleasantly, if her horse loses the race.”

Grace has emerged as a surprise challenger to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is widely seen as the front runner to succeed Mugabe.

A shadowy but ambitious group, consisting mainly of relatively young Zanu PF politicians, going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40), is also seen plotting behind the scenes to expediently hoist Mugabe’s wife, as a way of blocking Mnangagwa, long-considered to be the nonagenarian’s first choice for the top job.

The G40 is said to include Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, who denies harbouring any lofty political ambitions, even as Mnangagwa’s supporters view him with serious suspicion in the light of the growing political attacks on Mugabe’s deputy.

Magaisa said while Grace is commanding power and influence, he was not sure if this could see her succeeding her husband, since a lot depended on the frail Zimbabwean leader, whose advanced age and public gaffes are increasingly becoming worrisome.

“Is she an important player right now? Yes, but only because President Mugabe is still around and commands respect and obedience from Zanu PF people. Grace Mugabe’s power is like a loan which is guaranteed by a wealthy partner.

“It is valuable to the lender only to the extent that the guarantor is available and wealthy enough to indemnify any losses. But once the guarantor or his wealth are gone, it could all turn stale very quickly and would have to be written off,” Magaisa told the Daily News.

“The faction backing her is united by the members’ collective desire to stop Mnangagwa, just as they were determined to stop Mujuru. They also saw how useful Grace Mugabe was in toppling Mujuru. The strategy of that faction, in my view, which I am told is referred to as Generation 40, is to get rid of the old guard in a post-Mugabe era.

“They already achieved part of that plan with the removal of Mujuru, Mutasa, Gumbo, etc. This is the group of the old guard whose roots and source of power are in liberation war politics. Mnangagwa and his group would also be in that generation hence the resistance.

“I suspect this group fancies its chances with Grace Mugabe backing them. She could either be their preferred candidate or she would be a useful ally for their own candidate. It’s a battle of generations in Zanu PF,” said Magaisa.


Comments (21)

Grace, Bona, Robert jnr and Chatunga will have to pay for Gukurahundi just like we in Mthwakazi are still paying to this day, for the alleged tribal wars of old before we were even born. Likewise they have to pay for Gukurahundi, even if they had nothing to do with it; and pay they will. The journey ahead is long. Grace is only 50 - we shall get our pound of flesh; if not legally, it will be in the streets of Harare, Mutare, Gweru, Bulawayo, London, New York, Beijing, Malaysia, Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria. There is no place to hide and no security can be guaranteed by anyone in the next 80 years to come!

Royal Mthwakazi - 21 September 2015

I advise you Royal Mthwakazi to consider the question of relocating to South Africa where you and your tribe came from. You are no diff

Chimbwido Warvet - 21 September 2015

Gukurahundi was performed as response to the pre-colonial savage which was perpetrated by the Ndebeles. The threats by my well informed friend to retaliate against the act will be met with equal force in the streets and provinces.

Anonimous - 21 September 2015

You are spot on Magayisa.

mukoma nhongo - 21 September 2015

Anonimous, dont use the pineal gland to think! The 'moment of madness' has to be paid forby hook or crook!

jack the ripper - 21 September 2015

Such retaliatory ideas are destructive, unpatriotic and completely irrational. Progressive minded citizens would do well by rebuilding the collapsed Zimbabwe and endeavouring to place the country among the high income economies of the industrial world. Ideas such as espoused by Royal Mthwakazi are retrogressive, barbaric and can only be raised by immature antagonistic and uneducated imbeciles who do not understand that all Africans belong to one family. Otherwise why are we of the same colour? Mzilikazi and Zwangendaba did not realise this when they met up with their relatives, left earlier by their fathers when they had migrated southwards in the previous two, three hundred years of our ever restless ancestors.

Mr Dete - 21 September 2015

sashaa lmep is a thief, I think.

Mr Dete - 21 September 2015

@Mr Dete you are very right about Royal Mthwakwazi being retrogressive & SASHA IMEP

Mentalist - 22 September 2015

@Mr Dete you are very right about Royal Mthwakwazi being retrogressive & SASHA IMEP being a thief. You should have also included Chimbwido War vet & Anonymous for their divisive comments. This is the time to focus on reviving the economy & position Zimbabwe as the bread basket for Southern Africa. Thanks @Mr Dete for what a positive comment you have made

Mentalist - 22 September 2015

@Sashaa Imep this is the 3rd time that I have raised concerns that you are trying rob off people with your fraudulent schemes. Truth be told, we are a learned citizens whose minds and eyes are open & well aware of bogus campaigns. Please STOP the CRAP on this forum as we will not pay attention to what you are saying.

Mentalist - 22 September 2015

A tendency has developed among our commentators to divert from commenting on raised issues to attacking each other needlessly.Usually the person whopost the first comment becomes the focus.Are we not suppose to be commmenting on the articles and not on other people,s comments?

juks - 22 September 2015

This is indeed true but at the same time you should know that this is not the smae with Mujuru. She was humiliated by this lady but the masses and military establishment would still respect her even if Mugabe is dead or alive because of her humility and credentials . She is a revered War Veteran not Mutsvangwa who barks like a dog with rabbies.

Idichairo - 22 September 2015

Peace and stability is what Zimbabwe needs, not talk about retribution and further bloodshed? When will it ever end? Must admit that it might help if the ruling family would set a good example and stop dividing the people of this nation, something that plays right into the hands of our adversaries and those who wish to further exploit the people of this beleaguered nation.

Forgiven - 22 September 2015

@ Mr Dete If the concern is about unity and rebuilding, then why is Mthwakazi being punished for tribal wars of 1800s, which we know nothing about? This punishment comes in various and often disguised ways - one of them is when we keep being told to go back to South Africa; next the very President of the country and his wife go around the country addressing rallies; but the moment they are in Matland, the talk changes to tribalism about Bicycles, Khalangas, Ndebele men etc - why don't they say the same things in Shona regions? Welshman Ncube and Dumiso Dabengwa are attacked like they should be in politics or leading political parties, why? They are attacked, not on substance but for being from Matebeleland and being minorities - the same does not apply to Biti, Madhuku, Makoni, Mugabe or Tswangirayi. I am here talking about Mugabe's progeny; I am not referring to Shonas. If we are still paying for tribal wars; they also have to pay for Gukurahundi. Period. It will certainly happen and nothing will stop some of us from revenging!

Royal Mthwakazi - 22 September 2015

Mai ava inyanga yezizi.

Zvishomaizvi - 22 September 2015

I think the 21st century is time for development and changing the ideology and forget about fighting those who need to fight should go to Nigeria and join Boko Haram . Zimbabwe need to fight this tyrant Mugabe for good . Talking of revenge i don't think it's a good idea but those who were involve in that time of madness should face justices after we have accomplish the struggle of democracy . Grace is nothing for sure without his evil old man , she will just be as silent as if she doesn't exist , i am telling you now , the moment this old evil leaves office or kicks the bucket she will be nowhere to be seen that is why she is making noise now looting our resources to Asia . ICHO

Mudhara - 22 September 2015

@Mudhara Please note that there is no way we can remove Mugabe together without Shonas stopping their tribalism as I have already noted in my two contributions above.

Royal Mthwakazi - 22 September 2015

...some misguided people are busy hurling insults at each other whilst our beloved country burns and cries,.... Come on guys, patriotic zimbos think better than that, Zim is big enough for all of us, so stop the hatred speeches and act progressively. Shonas, Ndebeles, Kalangas, Nyanjas etc and even Zim whites who embrace their fellow citizens, we are all one and must stand together and find solutions for our beloved country . ONE LOVE to ALL!!!

Den - 22 September 2015

Am a Shona from Masvingo and l support the Mthwakazi's propositions.Mugabe has ruined this country and l feel his whole family must be wiped off the face of the earth.Pasi naMugabe nemhuri yake.He killed 30 thousand people,whole families and whats so special about Bona and Chatunga,musatanyoko.

vilbram avril - 22 September 2015

I would vote for the woman simply because she is a woman and its time men got under our rule...that would be a milestone in promoting gender equality.

karen - 28 September 2015

I would vote for you amai Mugabe, (but would flee to diaspora immediately afterwards of course) just because you are a woman and it would be a milestone in promoting gender equality. The country needs a mother though... a mother with her children at heart,

karen - 28 September 2015

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