A Zimbabwean minister has reportedly likened former president Robert Mugabe to some of Africa's most brutal dictators who wanted to"anoint their wives and mistresses as [their] successors".
According to NewsDay, the Minister of Agriculture Perrance Shiri said Mugabe was in the same league as Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire now DRC) and Jean Bédel Bokassa of the Central African Republic (CAR) whose attempts to groom their wives for the presidency failed.
He said this while addressing farmers at Chakari over the weekend.
Shiri said that Mugabe’s attempts to elevate his wife Grace nearly succeeded but the move was blocked by former army chief Constantino Chiwenga who intervened through the military’s Operation Restore Legacy last year.
“Even dictators like Mobutu of Zaire and Bokasa (CAR) failed in their endeavour to elevate their wives to power, but Zimbabwe nearly succeeded if it was not for our guest speaker, VP Retired General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga.
“So our guest of honour said no, we can’t have such a situation because it was against the values of the liberation struggle,” Shiri was quoted as saying.
This came a week after Chiwenga himself castigated Mugabe, describing him as the biblical Moses who led the Israelites out of Egypt but failed to lead them to the "land of milk and honey".
Chiwenga was the southern African country's military chief when it orchestrated the brief takeover that led to Mugabe’s ouster last November.
Mugabe, who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, stepped down from power following a military intervention that targeted "criminals around him" last year.