OPINION- Is ZANU-PF using First Lady Grace Mugabe to hide the true power brokers in the party and the crumbling economy?
Much has been said about Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe and her telegraphed or perceived ambitions to become president of Zimbabwe. By all indications, Grace has been an effective tool at distracting Zimbabweans from a different narrative. It would be surprising that her very politically astute husband President Robert Mugabe, who thought that former Vice President Joice Mujuru was “too simplistic for State craft, “hence deemed not fit to be president, would believe that his wife and former typist would be able to hold her on when he is gone. It is not unreasonable to believe that Mugabe realizes that leaving the country in the hands of Grace (as much as there is all this Talk about a bedroom coup), would not only endanger the country but also his family.
This belief leads one to consider that the rallies Grace has been holding across the country are mere window dressing which is proving to be a huge distraction for the whole country from forces at play which may be manipulating the Grace mania for a different outcome. Is Grace auditioning for president or vice president? One wonders. Is it possible that the person who would take over from the ailing Mugabe may be cheering Grace on knowing fully well how unpopular she and her husband have become in Zimbabwe. Hence this narrative of Grace trying to take over and outsmart the presumed heir apparent may be premature. Whoever is positioned to take over from Mugabe seems to have decided that it is better to keep Mugabe on the helm as long as possible knowing fully well how Mugabe’s prolonged stay makes Zimbabweans clamor more and more for his departure. Therefore when the time comes, the citizens will be more willing to accept the heir. Right now the heir apparent doesn’t have to be accountable because everything is being done in the name of Mugabe. Any failures are attributed to Mugabe. Whoever will takeover-the second in command according to the will first lady, will start on a clean slate. It makes sense for ZANU-PF to have a strong man take over instead of Grace because that would ensure that the party (the few cronies who are running the show in the name of the party and government) is safe. This leads to a scary thought that the country may be in the hands of ZANU-PF for a very long time, absent some event that changes the ZANU-PF road map. Grace, just like Baba Jukwa, Gamatox, Weevils and the scandals surrounding the obscene salaries of parastatal bosses may well be the biggest distraction keeping Zimbabweans removed from underhand tactics of those determined to retain power in Zimbabwe at all costs.
In any case, Grace is filling the void her husband has created likely due to circumstances beyond his control. What with all the gaffs and falls? It is time the country wake up to the reality that Grace’s rallies may just be a smokescreen. She may be auditioning for a different job from the one premised by all the noise she is making. Who knows, she could end up as the Vice President. However, knowing Zimbabwe, nothing ever follows a script. Who knew that the Crocodile was Grace’s best friend? Why not, especially as he is busy defending her outrageous actions in Parliament and thanks her for promoting peace. She even suggested the crocodile is her boss. There may be some truths in all this noise!! ZANU-PF is not stupid. They control all the instruments and projections of power. They lend the reins to whoever they will at will. That’s why Grace has the blessing of her boss to go out there and show off people power.