SW Radio Africa (London)

8 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Grace Mugabe Accused of 'Bullying' Her Way to the Top

Photo: Tawanda Mudimu/The Herald
First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe (second from left) flanked by Women’s League boss Cde Oppah Muchinguri, Cde Ednah Madzongwe and Cde Olivia Muchena sing in Mazowe where a proposal was made for her to lead the Women’s.

Even though she is yet to be elected as boss of the ZANU PF Women's league, Grace Mugabe appears to be going after her perceived political opponents like a 'heat seeking missile', according to a political analyst.

The analyst's observation stems from Grace's fire-spitting speech at her Mazowe farm on Thursday, where she hosted members of the youth league. The first lady used the occasion to threaten party members involved in factionalism and said they were 'playing with fire'

Many believe the comments were directed towards Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who's leading a faction that is fighting to take over the reins once President Robert Mugabe is no longer in power.

The other faction is led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose members are reportedly behind Grace's ascendancy to the Women's League position.

One newspaper article described her as looking 'angry and aggressive' and telling party youths that 'my time has come to show people what I am made of.'

Grace told her guests that she might have a "small fist", but when it comes to fighting, "I will put stones inside it to enlarge it, or even put on gloves to make it bigger," adding "do not doubt my capabilities."

Political commentator Munjonzi Mutandiri told us the first lady's comments confirm what many Zimbabweans have known all along, that ZANU PF has been crippled by infighting.

Mutandiri said since the first lady made public her intentions to enter mainstream politics she has been using hate speech which exposes her political immaturity.

'While she may think she is obliterating her political opponents to ensure a safe passage to the top, she is also exposing her weaknesses with the kind of language she's using,' Mutandiri said.

'The more you rise in politics, the more your weaknesses are exposed. Her ascendancy in ZANU PF politics is being used by another faction to stop a rival faction from getting to the top,' he said.

During Thursday's function at her farm, Grace threatened to deal with the ZANU PF MP for Mazowe South, Fortune Chasi the deputy Minister of Justice, alleging that he was interfering with her bid to grab more land in the area and seize Manzou Game Park.

She plans to build a secondary school, hospital and a Robert Mugabe University on the piece of land she has earmarked. Explaining that nothing will stop her from getting what she wants, the first lady described herself as 'monya (bouncer) for hire' and a 'force to reckon with.'

Speaking about Chasi, Grace declared; 'Don't worry, I will rein him in.'

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