Zimbabwe’s state media has turned on the country’s vice-president as Robert Mugabe prepares a “bedroom coup” by lining up his wife, Grace, as his favored successor.
After spending 20 years toying with various favourites, Mr Mugabe, who turns 91 in February, appears to have decided that Zimbabwe’s leadership must stay within the family and pass to Mrs Mugabe.
But this plan requires the downfall of Joice Mujuru, the vice-president and previous holder of the title of favoured successor. “The Herald”, a state daily, duly vilified Mrs Mujuru, accusing her of “sordid dealings” including “illicit diamond deals, extortion and demanding 10 per cent shares in private companies”.
Speaking before thousands of supporters, Mr Mugabe denounced the woman who has served in his government for the last 34 years, accusing Mrs Mujuru of “wanting money” and saying that her career will end when the ruling Zanu-PF party elects new leaders in December.
Step by step, Grace Mugabe has been prepared for the presidency. Her lack of any formal education was remedied when she received a Phd from the University of Zimbabwe, where her husband happens to be Chancellor.
Mrs Mugabe also became head of the Zanu-PF Women’s League.
Jabulani Sibanda, the leader of the War Veterans’ Association, voiced the unease of many in Zanu-PF when he accused Mr Mugabe of plotting a “bedroom coup”. Mr Mugabe retaliated by claiming that Mr Sibanda was possessed by the “spirit of Beelzebub”.
Mrs Mugabe, a 49-year-old sybarite popularly known as Zimbabwe’s “First Shopper”, is one of the most reviled people in the country. A typist by profession, she met her husband while working as a secretary at State House in the late 1980s.
Inconveniently, Grace Marufu, as she was then known, was already married to an officer in the air force. Mr Mugabe removed her husband from the scene by posting him to Zimbabwe’s embassy in China. He then married Grace himself in 1996. The couple have a daughter, Bona, and two sons, Robert, 22, and Bellarmine, 17. The boys are considered too young to be credible successors.
This is dog eat dog, and it will be painful and difficult for all involved. But there is method in the madness as this ensures Mugabe’s survival till he dies. Grace is just the dog barking out there, while they pull strings behind her. Vince Musewe, a Zimbabwean political commentator.
Someone somehow must tell the old man in Mugabe to cut it. Its gotten ridiculous really!
Time for Mr Mugabe to give others outside the family a chance. Actually, time for Zimbabweans to find someone outside the Mugabe family to lead them. It’s tricky but it must be done.
In addition, Mugabe must stop this sort of indictment of the Vice President. Simple because Zimbabwe does not need another political disaster. Mugabe can do the right thing.
Wow can I get a PhD too or do I need to know someone who knows someone?