Grace Mugabe: Zimbabwe’s Rising Dark Cloud

By Prince Tongogara

Harare, October 11, 2014 – Dr. Grace Mugabe has in the past ten days

held five of the ten well-choreographed ‘Thank You Rallies’ as she

introduces herself on Zimbabwe’s political landscape to start her

career as a an independent politician.

So far, Dr Mugabe has addressed five political rallies in Chinhoyi,

Gweru,Harare, Masvingo and Mutare giving her political programme

and philosophy to the nation.

It could be early but so far Radio VOP has learnt five things from the

First Lady.

1.    How difficult it is to transform from a mere pool typist to a

political leader.

There is a limit to the extent physical beauty can take an individual

in climbing the social ladder. It is no secret that Grace was a

stunner in her older days and she managed to get a job in the typing

pool at the President’s Office. She has used her proximity to power

like all secretaries to be powerful but that borrowed power usually evaporates

once its primary holder (the boss) is gone especially if one did not

create their own nest for the afterlife. Probably this is what

informed her to become the good Dr. that she may be her own person but

judging by the present she has a long way to walk out of the shadow of

the ‘old man’.’

2.    Grace needs massive hand-handling in her speeches

Dr. Grace has given three long, rumbling and uncoordinated speeches

off the cuff. She has spoken about factionalism in Zanu PF, the need

for change in leadership in provinces especially when it fails to

deliver seats and the need for Zanu PF being a party of mere political

rhetoric and promises.  At the Gweru rally, she said there was no

place for chairpersons who have failed to deliver parliamentary seats

like the situation in Harare and other major cities. Dr. Mugabe added

that in private sector those who fail are fired. It remains ironic

that she has not seen the failure of her husband’s government in the

last 15 years.

3.    She is not decisive in dealing with corruption

Dr. Mugabe with a straight face told her audience in Gweru that she

knew that some senior party officials had stolen part of the 30 tonnes

of maize she donated in Chinhoyi. However, the good Dr. did not

proceed to name and shame the culprits arguing she would deal with

them privately. Dr. Grace like her husband President Mugabe, is long

on rhetoric and short on action in dealing with corruption, a cancer

that is now pervasive in Zimbabwe. In short, the fight against

corruption will remain rhetorical even when Dr. Mugabe takes over the

leadership mantle in Zanu PF.

4.    Handing out alms is her political stratagem

Dr. Grace Mugabe’s rallies have become synonymous with campaign

rallies as evidenced by her dishing out of seed maize to people

attending rallies. This is reminiscent of the July 31 political

campaigns done by Zanu PF and even in previous years. Giving alms is

short term, a stop gap measure, but the people need training and

support unrelated to political campaigns if this country has to fight

poverty and food insecurity among the poor. Dishing out alms is meant

to get votes and not developing communities but it works in African

elections because the people are poor and the leadership will not want

the electorate economically empowered for they start thinking beyond

their daily survival.

5.    Constitution, laws and by-laws can be broken with impunity

Everything to Dr. Grace is politically and she does not mind the

consequences of the actions if her advice is implemented to the

letter. On land she was quoted as saying, “Nobody will remove me from

the farm which I took. Blood will be spilt if anyone attempts to

remove me from that farm,” before adding, “Women, we need land, so let

us take it. Even if we don’t farm on the land, that is not a problem

as long as you have it and it’s yours.” and “You can kill me” Her remarks are similar to

Zanu PF functionaries’ argument on land that it is ours and we will do

whatever we want even if we starve ourselves. Dr. Grace had some

advice for local authorities, “council should not slash people’s maize

crop, and respect and follow the law.” Not one word of advice to the

citizens to respect council by-laws on stream bank cultivation. We

must be afraid and very afraid if laws can be ignored and thrashed for

political expediency.

And Oppah Muchinguri confirmed the citizens’ fears of the quality of

advice President Mugabe is getting when she said in Chinhoyi, “She

(Dr. Mugabe) is now the chief adviser of President Mugabe. That is why

when she came here she wanted to know about the fairness of inputs

distribution and report back on many other issues . . . the senior

queen is now Amai Mugabe.”

Zimbabweans should be wary for the ominous dark cloud is rising on the

horizon and if Dr. Grace remains unchecked the country could be swept

in the impending storm. The December Zanu PF congress does not augur

well for the country especially with such leadership as touted now

getting into the thick of decision making.