'Mugabe behind Grace power bid'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s public defence of his controversial wife Grace’s relentless assault on Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters suggests that the nonagenarian is not against the idea of the First Lady succeeding him, analysts say.

Speaking to the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, the analysts also said Mugabe’s failure to reign in the first lady as she continued to play a divisive role in the warring post-congress Zanu PF meant that the increasingly powerful first lady was now “more than just women’s league boss”.

Not for the first time in recent months, Mugabe once again defended his wife while addressing the ruling party’s central committee meeting at its Harare headquarters on Friday, claiming further that his wife did not lead any party faction.

And contradicting his own and his wife’s many public pronouncements over the past few months, Mugabe also claimed that factionalism in Zanu PF was fictitious and a creation of the independent media, adding that some people were jealous of his wife’s work for the ruling party.

This happened as insiders reiterated that the ruling party’s ambitious Young Turks, known as the Generation 40 (G40), were expediently pushing Grace for the presidency to thwart Mnangagwa’s own ambitions for higher office.

Firstly, it shows that Grace’s influence is growing.

“Secondly, her coming into active politics now appears like a well-calculated move. They (Mugabe and Grace) are in agreement as to why Grace should be an active politician,” political analyst Shakespear Hamauswa said.

He added that Mugabe’s denial that his party was not riddled with factionalism was typical of the nonagenarian’s “denialist tendencies”.

“He never accepts reality until such a point when he is taking a decision. He cannot fool the whole country that there are no factions in his party at a time when open clashes are taking place.

“All this might be a final nail to Mnangagwa’s faction. It might be a first step by Uncle Bob (Mugabe) to denounce Mnangagwa and his cabal,” Hamauswa said.

Grace’s influence in Zanu PF and the government has been increasing noticeably since late last year when she was unexpectedly elevated to the important position of women’s league boss.

Her power has been exhibited time and again since then as she has mounted many televised rallies, bossed the country’s vice presidents and other Cabinet ministers, and increasingly given direction on government policies.

“She is not stopping at the boundary of the women’s league as she is increasingly showing that she has an elastic mandate.

“When she starts encroaching into other party departments like the youth, it no longer shows that she is the women’s league boss alone but also that there are other agendas,” University of Zimbabwe lecturer and respected political analyst Eldred Masunungure said.

He said Grace’s unfettered influence showed that in a way, she was assisting her ailing husband, whom several analysts have said is out of touch with what is happening on the ground in the country.

“To me, she is not at par with the VPs (Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko). Even if you look at it, the VP (Mphoko) introduced the first lady (during her recent rallies), which clearly shows that there is something behind this anomaly. She is doing more than what the president said,” he added.

Masunungure said in so far as the donations that Grace was making at her rallies were a good gesture, they were based on “sinister motives” which went beyond assisting the electorate.

“She is not even worried about the perception of vote buying, from the statements she has made during her recent rally in Mashonaland Central,” he said.

During the rally and in a statement seen as an announcement for her intended bid to take over from her husband, Grace said that it was better for people to vote for her after she made her donations, than to vote for someone who had done nothing for them.

Another political analyst, Maxwell Saungweme, said Mugabe’s faculties were failing owing to his advanced age, adding that factionalism was “real” in Zanu PF and that the nonagenarian was supporting his wife’s bid for the presidency.

“He is an old man with a very energetic, ambitious and younger wife. At that age, most men just follow what their wives say, especially when there is such a huge age difference. The fact is that Grace is leading a faction and Mugabe supports that faction led by his wife,” Saungweme said.

However, he said factionalism was going to change the face of the post-congress Zanu PF.

“It’s a party with various centres of power created by the vacuum of its aged leader, and the wife has stepped in to try and rescue the situation and become the centre of power.

“Sadly, the wife is very inept, unsophisticated and crude, and one wonders what will become of her when the husband is gone,” Saungweme said.

Meanwhile, MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu says that there is no need for a “rocket scientist to prove that Grace is the face of the G40”.

“She is neck-deep in factional politics and of course, Robert Mugabe is the puppeteer, pulling the strings behind the scenes.

“As the MDC, we are very pleased that Zanu PF is collapsing as a result of irreconcilable factional and tribal differences. “Mnangagwa is a Karanga and the Zezuru clique that is driving the so-called G40 faction can never, ever countenance a situation whereby a Karanga becomes head of state in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Comments (14)

both zanu pf and mdc are imploding from within. the basic common problem with these two parties is the handiende attitude of the leaders. where there is no succession plan and policy, people will naturally angle themselves for power thereby creating factions. going forward, we should shun politics of handiende and ensure that whoever is in power should ONLY serve a limited three term office. tsvangirai is now term number 4.

zvirozviyedzwa - 18 October 2015

Munangagwa is now evidently being viewed as Gamatox Part 2. As long as Bob is around Ngwena should kiss goodbye to presidential ambitions because Grace and her savage putschist cabal is deriving shadows of power from Bob. Should Bob quit the scene then Gire is doomed and The Crocodile will devour her and her clique.

Jojo - 18 October 2015

The driver of the rise to power of Grace is the husband of course. The deviant behaviour of Minister Zhawoa shows he is supported by his uncle. The God father behind G40 and Grace is none other than Bob himself. Bob as a hypocrite will deny this but that is the naked truth

Adam Smith - 18 October 2015

Mnangagwa, Mujuru, Mutasa vana Rugare Gumbo and many more including Rex Nhongo were solidly behind Mugabe in creating a one party state in Zimbabwe. Not to mention the self-annointed proud-to-be-a-Harvard-graduate Edison Zwobgo. In their minds that was the best thing to secure their positions in government as well as securing their loots for their posterity. That was then. Because of their short-sightedness they thought Mugabe will live and be their leader forever. Till recently they still entertained this thinking. Had it not been for Grace they should still be snoring in their slumber up to today. Grace,however, awakened them by asking her husband about the security of the family and the family`s riches when the head departs. After realising the chaos that is would ensue after his departure the two agreed that none other than Grace herself can be trusted to safeguard the family. Emigrating to the far-east or Switzerland was not an option for Grace and family because she has finally leant that in a foreign land she remains a foreigner no matter how rich they maybe. It was realised a bit too late hence the rush by Grace to bulldoze her way force-feeding zvikukuvatavata zvemuZimbabwe to accept her as the successor to Mugabe. What can the rest of Zanu- PF bigwigs whose toes have been trampled do ? NOTHING ! Why ? Because they endorsed the one party , one leader principle - which basically means chataurwa naBob ndichocho pasina muvhunzo unovhunzwa. Kana kune munhu akareader maZimbabweans akapasa ndiMugabe. Unotonga kusvika paunoda ugosiyira waunoda ivo vachingoti YES BOSS.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 18 October 2015

So vana vavo havadzidze muno, vanodzidza mhiri....imi venyu vaimbodzidza muno vasati vadzingwa nekushaya ma fees, they are your MPs, but 3000 of your children are dropping out of school from the same constituencies they purport to lead nekuda kwekushaya mari dzechikoro...dzavanofamba nadzo mota imi munongoita dzekuona dzakadhrowewa mumabhuku evana e art....vakawanda vavo magetsi nemvura havabhadhare.....mapurazi vane hobho hobho...vakawanda vavo havarapwe muno....imi kana mari yekuGomo kana kuParirenyatwa you can't even afford, their wives and concubines don't even shop here.....imi tinokuonai maPick 'n' Pay kuzvikanganwahama , matumbu ehuku nehove dziye dzinonzi mazitye.....apa kuMbare ku Kotamayi Boutique hamubve, vanhu vepi vanogarotenga vakafongora vachishara zvakasiiwa nevamwe... but you still twerk for them on TV zvamusingaitire varume venyu kudzimba... chokwadi ndechekuti they have sold us the Zimbabwean dream...........but they are living that dream, vanofara vachiona tichivaombera tichivagwadamira when they give us hand-outs, instead of enabling us to work for our own selves and sustain our families......ivo vanoita hwekuranga imi muchiita hwekurangarira......these are the same people you are willing to kill for during erection time, kutoponda mumwe munhu kuti hanzi warambirei kutsigira nhingi na nhingi........svinurai mhani maZimbabwe........

Alan - 18 October 2015

Cling On Oh Klingon, but watch out for the Generals who have a very simple agenda, to take power under the guise of restoring stability.

Nooshie - 19 October 2015

As the king edged closer for his date with the bucket [to kick it] the vulgar queen started positioning herself to take over the throne…Time has to come when we say enough of this madness - Zimbabwe. Together we can create a democracy and blast away this evil monarchy. To find out what role you can play visit httpsdotbackslashbackslash wwwdotfacebookdotcom backslashpagesbackslash UniteddashRepublicdashofdashNewdashZimbabwedashForum backslash1231969226818860 and be sure to tell another Zimbabwean about this.

Comrade Nungu - 20 October 2015

Zimbabwe needs people who are serious about thier lives. They can enjoy these privilages and our cost. Mugabe is not man enough to tell his wife that she is not fit to be a leader. We need a revolution in our country and get rid of these good for nothing people.

tate - 20 October 2015

grace idodi zvaro asi apa rambotauravo nyika haingangotonwi nevakarwa Hondo ko pano vopera kufa ndiyani achaitonga. zvipoko zvavo ndizvo zvichatonga handi.

bungumuridzo - 21 October 2015

grace idodi zvaro asi apa rambotauravo nyika haingangotonwi nevakarwa Hondo ko pano vopera kufa ndiyani achaitonga. zvipoko zvavo ndizvo zvichatonga handi.

bungumuridzo - 21 October 2015

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