Harare – Zimbabwe ex-liberation fighters have accused President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace of capturing the veteran leader due to his advanced age, adding that the nonagenarian should be collectively voted out of power in 2018, says a report.
According to NewsDay, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general, Victor Matemadanda, said that it was time that the war veterans "started building bridges" with the country’s opposition parties to get rid of Mugabe.
Matemadanda said that poverty, joblessness and Mugabe had become the country’s major problems.
He also alleged that the president's wife Grace was now running the country.
"We have to make sure that he is out of power in 2018 as a collective. Unfortunately, we have been too polarised to the point that we are forgetting that (MDC-T president, Morgan) Tsvangirai, Joice Mujuru (National People’s Party) or Welshman Ncube (MDC) are not the enemies. The enemy is poverty, unemployment and Mugabe, who wants to die with Zimbabwe," Matemadanda was quoted as saying.
Staunch Mugabe supporters
This came a few days after Grace told Zimbabwe's vice presidents at a campaign rally in Chinhoyi that they were serving at her husband's will.
Grace warned her husband’s deputies Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko that they risked losing their jobs if they did not perform to the expectations of the 93-year-old Mugabe.
She also ridiculed Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere over his "big belly".
Grace then went on to humiliate Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba for ignoring her philanthropic work in Mazoe while giving her "party rivals" positive coverage.
The former liberation fighters who were once staunch Mugabe supporters were believed to be backing Mnangagwa who was widely seen as positioning himself for Mugabe's post, while speculation was rife that Grace also harboured ambitions to take power.
Grace recently urged her ageing husband to name his successor.
Grace was appointed leader of the Zanu-PF powerful women's wing in 2014 and went on a campaign that led to the expulsion of Mujuru, whom she accused of fomenting division as well as corruption and practising witchcraft.
Mugabe, who has been accused of brutally quashing dissent for decades, has never named a preferred successor, saying that it was not his job to do so.