Political stakeholders and analysts will surely have a lot to talk about with this recent development – Grace Mugabe’s reported bid for the presidency. However, it doesn’t come as a surprise bearing in mind the political hurdles that have troubled the state of Zimbabwe in recent times.
Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe has declared herself the new president that would take over when Robert Mugabe finally steps down. Grace Mugabe said to the ruling Zanu-PF party women’s league that she is already the president, as she has made plans and arrangement with her husband President Robert Mugabe.
Grace’s announcement comes after Mugabe announced that he is working towards his retirement as the president.
Mugabe made the shocking announcement to veterans, who came to solidify their support for him. There, he admitted that Zimbabwe is apparently in a financial crisis – which spells doom for the citizens and the country at large.
According to reports, Mashonaland West Zanu-PF women’s league chairperson Angeline Muchemeyi said Grace, who has been the Zanu-PF women’s league secretary since 2014, told them that there was no point for her fighting to be vice president, a lesser position when she was already running State affairs.
“The First Lady said ‘I’m the wife of the president, I’m the president already… I plan and do everything with the president, what more do I want, for now, the position of the women boss is enough,” Muchemeyi was quoted as saying.
Zimbabwe’s deputy president, however, noted that the first lady’s ambition to lead the country after her husband’s departure had been “put on hold” after the Mashonaland West Zanu-PF women’s league said the issue of a quota system in the praesidium should be avoided.
Grace Influencing Mugabe’s Decisions
Grace’s new announcement also raised concern that she still influences the president’s decisions, especially in policies that affect the country. Months back, Mugabe himself admitted to being ‘told what to do’ by Grace who forced him to prematurely end his speech during the Zanu PF National Conference in Victoria Falls last year.
“Mukadzi uyu akutondinyorera kuti ndavakutaurisa (she is writing to me, saying “I’m talking too much). Ndozvandinoitwa kumba (this is what she does at home). Saka ndoteerera (So I listen),” Mugabe ashamedly admitted to his wife’s rule.
Mashonaland West women’s league chairperson, Angeline Muchemeyi told a gathering over the weekend that Grace was already running State affairs and would not fight for lesser positions like the vice president’s post.
“Grace told an executive meeting that she is ‘already the President’ and would not want to be appointed VP, as it was a lower post,” she said, reiterating that Grace Mugabe is making serious plans to take over as soon as Mugabe steps down.
Mugabe Backs Grace’s Succession
It may not also come as a surprise to know that Mugabe okays the idea of his wife taking over from him. Mugabe’s approval of Grace’s rule became so glaring following the withdrawal of his vice Emmerson Mnangagwa. The President sacked his vice on grounds that Mnangagwa was plotting with both internal and external forces to overthrow him. The allegations of betrayal and disloyalty against Emmerson; his sack, as well as reported death threats against him, has caused him to flee the country but with a promise to return.
The exiled VP was quoted as saying that the leading ZANU PF party was controlled by the President and his wife Grace, who are planning to usurp power through their conspiracy system plagued with dictatorship and favouritism.
Zimbabwe is in the middle of a political crisis and is in need of an actual intervention. The country has been awash with rumours of a possible military takeover. Although this has not been confirmed, there are more supporters than opposers of this rumoured exercise.
This is because Zimbabweans have grown tired of Mugabe’s rule said to have brought all forms of economic and political crisis upon the country. Robert Mugabe has ruled Zim for 37 years now; he’s been the only Head of State and has been in power since Zim’s independence.
There is also the problem of unemployment which has grossly affected the youth. Opinion polls have revolved around the belief that a change at the seat of government will bring about positive change in the country.