By Staff Reporter
Harare, May 28, 2016 – A LOCAL civic group has accused the First Lady Grace of fanning violence through her controversial statements on Wednesday that President Robert Mugabe would still rule even when he was dead.
Addressing Zanu PF followers who thronged the so-called Million Man March organised by the party’s youth league in Harare, Grace said her 92 year old husband was so irreplaceable that his hegemony should extend right to the grave.
“We want you to lead this country from your grave, while you lie at the National Heroes’ Acre,” she said to thousands of party followers.
Grace’s “reckless” statement elicited strong rebuke from the opposition which accused the First Family of trying to privatise the state.
Similarly, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) said the statements by Grace were akin to inciting political violence against known and perceived opponents of the veteran leader who has described Zanu PF factions as treasonous.
The group said the First Lady’s statements could fuel more hostilities within Zanu PF’s already volatile succession politics which saw the shock ouster of then Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies last year for allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe.
“… There has been an upsurge of intra-party violence within Zanu PF as President Robert Mugabe’s loyalists bay for the blood of his … perceived opponents and we fear the recent remarks by the First Lady could further worsen the situation,” said the pro-democracy NGO.
“We have every reason to fear that the First Lady’s utterances could take the country back to the bloody era of 2008 when about 200 MDC-T supporters were murdered by Zanu PF activists who sought to safeguard President Robert Mugabe’s continued stay in office.”
The group said it was through such attitudes that President Mugabe declared he would not be removed by the stroke of a pen (elections) when he was defeated 2008 by bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai.
“CIZC implores the First Lady to desist from reckless statements that have the potential to cause unnecessary conflicts in the country,” said the group.
“Moreover, the country’s Constitution is clear on Presidential term limits and goes further to lay out conditions for the removal of the President from office under Section 97 and President Robert Mugabe is certainly not immune in any way to the conditions outlined in the country’s Constitution.”