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Grace, an extension of the Mugabe patronage – ZDI


A local think tank has identified the First Lady as an extension of the ‘Mugabe Patronage’ saying that her actions are engrossed with approbations of being the Head of State and Zanu PF’s First Secretary.

The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), in a paper produced last week says, Dr Amai Mugabe’s actions confirm her interest in taking over as the President of Zimbabwe.

The First Lady, whose introduction to the political journey started during her nationwide  “Meet the People tours” unsympathetically sparked the ouster of the then Vice-President, Joice Mujuru after she bulldozed into Zanu PF’s Women League.

In a paper titled Zanu PF succession: Will Grace be Queen, ZDI contends that the First lady’s actions confirms that she will succeed President Mugabe despite her publicly denying the presidential ambitions.

ZDI Logo“Grace Mugabe’s project cannot be viewed in isolation but a political institution whose actions have the full approbations of the head of state and Zanu PF’s first secretary,” said ZDI.

The local think tanks argues that the changes made to the Zanu PF constitution in 2014 may possibly provide a leeway on which the First lady can freely walk in as she passages to the presidential seat.

“Changes to the Zanu PF constitution during the December 2014 gave powers to the President to appoint his deputies making it probable for him to appoint his wife as Vice-President and successor if he so wishes,” said ZDI.

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The paper also queried the manner in which the First Lady’s rallies were being broadcast live on ZBC at the expense of national issues.

“Her (Grace Mugabe) rallies in November 2014 and the current jaunt were broadcasted live usually a preserve of the President even at the expenses of important processes and institutions such as parliament.

“What has also become misnomer is the manner in which cabinet ministers and senior government officials throng these rallies even at the expense of government business.

It added that, “If the protocol processes at these rallies are anything to go by Grace Mugabe seems to have occupied a position equal to the President both in Zanu PF and government,”

According to the paper, Dr Amai Mugabe’s links to the G40 faction clearly demonstrate her desire to seize power after the President has left office.

“Allegations that Grace Mugabe fronts a faction in Zanu PF, the G40 which is engaged in an internecine war of attrition with the Mnangagwa faction in the succession battle is an indication of growing tension within the party even after the creation of the so called one centre of Power in President Mugabe during the December 2014 congress.

“As the succession battle continues to unfold whether or not Grace will succeed her husband depends on her ability to rise above factions, chaos and political acrimonious quarrelling in Zanu PF, endearing herself to security apparatus, being able to have the legitimacy to glue the party together and being acceptable to the petty bourgeoisie,” said ZDI.



Gabriel Chaibva, a political analyst disputed the sentiments reinforced by the ZDI paper.

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“What ZDI is saying has no basis at all? How can you say Dr Amai Grace is an extension of the Mugabe patronage when she is already a Mugabe?

“The Zanu PF constitution allows any member to contest any post and if members of the party find it fitting for her to be vice president and subsequently president, let it be it, it is the people’s choice.

What is wrong with Amai becoming president, if people elect her as president, who is ZDI to deny that? queried Chaibva.

Chaibva also questioned the authenticity of organizations like ZDI and cited it as a firm detractor of government and the First Family.

“We all know that institutions like ZDI have been fashioned to attack government and the First Family left, right and centre,” he said adding that such organisations cannot even at once contribute anything positive to the country.

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Journalist based in Harare

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