Grace Mugabe says VPs consult her, hints at 'takeover'

2015-07-03 14:22
Grace Mugabe. (File: AP)

Grace Mugabe. (File: AP)

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Cape Town – Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe could be once again perceived to be pushing for power when her husband dies or retires, after she made claims that she works closely with President Robert Mugabe's two deputies.

Grace, who played a big role in the ouster of former vice president Joice Mujuru, said this during a ceremony to launch a housing project in Kadoma, according to media reports.

Mujuru and several other top Zanu-PF officials were fired last year over allegations of plotting to kill Mugabe, 91.

Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko were appointed vice presidents by Mugabe in December.

"I am seeing that the calibre of the vice-presidents is now different. They are different in that just in the few months they have been in power, I have lost count of the times that I have sat down with them one-on-one to talk about the development of Zimbabwe," News Day quoted Grace as saying.

Grace said this was the kind of leadership Zimbabwe wanted.

'Wise' adviser

A report by The Telegraph said on Friday that Grace’s words were a sign she wanted to be in power after the death or retirement of her husband.

The report said Grace presented herself as a "wise" adviser to the southern African country's vice presidents, who are at least 20 years her senior.

Grace said Mnangagwa and Mphoko listened to her and jotted down notes while she spoke.

"They know that I am younger than them, but they appreciate that I am amai (mother) – and I have something to tell them about developing the nation," Grace said.

According to Daily News Grace said this never happened in the past when Mujuru was still in office.

The first lady entered into mainstream politics last year after she was confirmed as the women's league boss in the ruling Zanu-PF politburo.

Analysts say Grace appears to be the power behind the throne, although Mugabe denied this during his visit to South Africa in April.

Mugabe told journalists at the time that his wife didn’t have ambitions for Zimbabwe’s presidency.

"She doesn't have those ambitions. No, I don't think so," he said. "She has accepted the post of being secretary for women's affairs and she has got her own charity to care for," Mugabe was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  phelekezela mphoko  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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