Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe. Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Grace Mugabe ‘in control of Zimbabwe’

By Peta Thornycroft Time of article published Dec 23, 2015

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Johannesburg - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai believes Zimbabwe has suffered a “palace coup”, with Grace Mugabe now in control of the country.

And internationally acclaimed writer and influential lawyer Petina Gappah says Robert Mugabe has chosen to “fight from the grave” so that his wife becomes the next president.

Both have given voice to growing fears in Zimbabwe about the powers of Grace Mugabe, 50, who has also taken on liberation war veterans and told them their history does not mean they have any power.

Gappah told several influential political leaders and academics during a robust debate that Grace Mugabe, a former State House typist who was awarded a suspicious PhD last year, was both “arrogant” and “mediocre”.

“She can tell an engineer how to build a bridge; it is a grave situation.”

Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change party, said in his end-of-year address that there had been a “palace coup” and warned about the turbulence within Zanu-PF on the succession issue.

“No one in government is thinking of solutions to the national challenges as everyone is preoccupied with issues of who will succeed this tired man steering the ship of state,” he said.

“There is no boldness to confront the national crisis; what with an aged president and everyone around him fighting to succeed him.”

Mugabe, 92 in two months time, has been endorsed by Zanu-PF as its presidential candidate in the 2018 elections, while Grace Mugabe has said that if her husband's health falters, she will drive him around in a wheelchair so that he can rule until he dies.

Gappah said intra-party fighting was destroying Zanu-PF, and war veterans needed to fight from within to stop Grace Mugabe taking over.

Gappah said that unless there was an immediate change of leadership, the country would degenerate into a fully fledged dictatorship.

“Zanu-PF has turned Zimbabwe into a vampire state that's only there to feed itself. Zanu-PF is deliberately impoverishing the poor as it is easy to control the poor,” said Gappah, author of two novels.

The Star

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