Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe power bid is madness, says Biti

2014-10-29 08:10
Grace Mugabe. File: AFP

Grace Mugabe. File: AFP

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Johannesburg - Suggestions that Grace Mugabe could succeed her nonagenarian husband as Zimbabwe's president are "madness", the country's former finance minister and opposition leader Tendai Biti told AFP on Tuesday.

Biti - who served in a coalition government led by 90-year-old Robert Mugabe and is a leading member of the Movement for Democratic Change - said the first lady's ascent to power would be a "regression" even after years of crisis.

"That is actually total madness. You ruin, you misrun the country for 34 years, and you expect your wife to be the next president?" Biti said during a trip to Johannesburg.

Grace Mugabe, 49, has shaken up the race to succeed her husband, who has ruled for close to 34 years since independence, by hinting she could run for higher office, and lashing out at possible rivals.

Biti said the secretary-turned-first-lady would be "even worse" than her controversial husband, who, wince coming to power in 1980, has presided over a prolonged economic crisis and rights abuses.

"At least Mugabe's generation had liberation credentials, he had some umbilical cord to the liberation struggle" to free Zimbabwe from British colonial rule, Biti said.

"Now you're trying to create a dynasty with no value, no claim, so it's even worse, so Zimbabwe is actually going in a regression."

Biti said the generation that liberated the country had "failed to pass the baton" to another generation.

Read more on:    mdc  |  grace mugabe  |  robert mugabe  |  tendai biti  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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