Rallies expose Grace Mugabe backers

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe’s ongoing countrywide rallies have exposed the group that is behind her comprising high-ranking Zanu PF party officials aligned to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction.

Herbert Moyo

Save for a few aberrations like embattled Hurungwe legislator Temba Mliswa, the core group supporting Grace’s campaign may have different views and even agendas, but they are all party functionaries associated with Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa has been locked in a decade-long and increasingly bitter succession fight with Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

With a core group comprising outgoing Zanu PF Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri, Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, Phillip Chiyangwa and others, Grace has been to nine of the country’s provinces, except for Mashonaland East, where she will be today, mostly using two military helicopters including the presidential helicopter.

This clique first appeared publicly during the party’s Women and Youth League conferences in August where they addressed a press conference denouncing the Zanu PF leadership’s failure to mobilise resources for conferences and for their underhand tactics which allegedly included vote-buying, kidnapping and coercion to secure victory for their preferred candidates.

The group went on to mobilise financial resources for the Women’s League Conference in the wake of an embarrassing scenario where Youth League delegates reportedly went hungry after the party failed to raise funds for their upkeep during the conference.

It has also moved in to dispel perceptions that taxpayers’ funds are being abused with Chiyangwa telling the media on Monday that he chairs a group which is mobilising “private money” to fund Grace’s “Meet-the-People Tours” across all provinces of the country.

“I chair the committee on funding the First Lady’s programmes, it is a fund that was brewed during the Women’s League Conference following the chaotic youth conference,” said Chiyangwa during the Gwanda leg (Matabeleland South) of Grace’s rallies.

Grace has been using the rallies to spit fire at real or imagined opponents, making public accusations clearly targeted at Mujuru and her faction, raising suspicion that she could be angling to succeed her husband Mugabe.

Yesterday in Bindura she escalated her attacks on Mujuru to vitriolic levels.

According to political analyst Ibbo Mandaza, the rallies “have exposed the group behind her — the Moyos, Kasukuweres and, of course, Mnangagwa in the background.”

Mandaza, however, cast doubt on the group’s intellectual and organisational capacity to derail Mujuru saying it was not going to be easy.

“It seems the Mnangagwa faction is going for broke, but I don’t see them achieve anything because there is no way they can stop Mujuru, she is through the door already. They are trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted,” said Mandaza.

“If she (Grace) is naive enough to challenge Mujuru, it will be her nemesis. She will lose.”

Another senior party official who spoke on condition of anonymity also warned Grace’s prospects of landing the vice-presidency ahead of Mujuru might be risky unless Mugabe ignores the party constitution and people’s will to impose his wife.

“As things stand, Mujuru already has the support as evidenced by the victory of her allies in provincial elections. I don’t see Grace and her team overturning that despite their clamours to have the presidium appointed by Mugabe,” said the official who concluded that “Grace will only end up as Women’s League boss unless she is imposed”.

Mandaza said Grace had also exposed herself, and by extension her backers, because of her clumsy, reckless and inflammatory statements at rallies.

“She has demoted herself from being a First lady to being a party functionary. Will she be able to say all these things when she becomes a junior party member? If she was someone else, she would have been hauled before the disciplinary committee for attacking senior officials like Mujuru and (Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus) Mutasa.

“Who is she and why has her husband been quiet? This shows that he is no longer in charge and cannot control her and the party.”

Party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo declined to shed light on the activities of Grace and the agenda of the group behind her, telling this paper that “these are the kinds of questions that can only be discussed in the politburo and not in the media”, adding that only then will the party’s position be clarified.

8 thoughts on “Rallies expose Grace Mugabe backers”

  1. Greyhora says:

    We are only happy to watch gleefully as Zanu PF gets a bitter taste of its own medicine!!!

  2. Wezhira Wezhara says:

    Mandaza is a member of Mujuru faction…he has been anti Mnangagwa since his Days with the mirror newspaper which he used to attack Mnangagwa on behalf of the Mujurus…He was also part of Mavambo to represent the interests and views of the Mujurus…I wish the reporter would have asked him…Mr Mandaza once said Mnangagwa having been personal assistant to Mugabe was too junior to ascend to a senior position but today we have SK Moyo who was pa to late Nkomo? Is SK also not then too junior to ascend to a senior position? The Mujuru camp are finished but they can’t even see it yet they are still screaming at Mnangagwa whilst First Lady has her own agenda against them all the while ED is quietly enjoying the show…we should have suspensions and expulsions in the structures b4 congress to purge the Mujuruites the way they always purge perceived opponents b4 any congress eg 2004/2009/2014

  3. Ana boys says:

    It’s a rat race

    1. Citizen says:


  4. shooter says:

    Bantu be ZANU lo De GRACE wenu liyasiyangisa ezinye izizwe zithini ngathi ngodaka olunje yikukhuluma bani komuntu oyinkokheli khonokhu. mthu kuyanuka lokhu..

  5. munyaradzi says:

    had it been that this whole grace thing is a tragedty, it should have made for a great comedy.

  6. Dr Gire Marufu Gorerazo says:

    Inferences made by people relating to attendance and non attendance of ZanuPF “bigwigs” to Dr Giresi’s “meet the people rallies” around the country has reference. I would want to iron out the misunderstanding and misgudgement by some amongst commentators here. People should first and foremost understand and accept that there are two factions in ZanuPF with Dr JTR Mujuru and ED Mnangagwa as the percieved leaders. Dr Giresi’s ascendance or nomination to lead women’s league was facilitated by Cde Oppa “Rushesha” Muchinguri’s stepping down of the same post. Her stepping down and ascendance of the First Lady can not be mere coincidence but rather calculated and well thoughts moves. People should view this as the ascendance of the First Lady at the ‘mercy” , if I may be allowed to say that, of Cde Oppa and subsequently Cde Mnangagwa faction as Oppa has shifted he allegiance recently to that faction. One important question to answer would be, what is in for her (Muchinguri) in all this? Why the sudden change of mind to step down for one who is far junior in the ZanuPF hierarchy? Which position is she aiming? What position does Mnangagwa the percieved faction leader aiming? I believe it may take volumes and volumes of literature to try and answer these questions, hence I may not attempt that at this stage but highlight the crucial answers to some of the important developments lately.

    Oppa and Dr Giresi are amongst the party cadres to have single handedly pick Mujuru for the VP post ahead of more senior cadres in 2009 following the demise of Msika and the subsequent Tsholotsho declaration. Mnangagwa was thrown to the dust bin, these same ladies who seem to be backing his faction this time around, why the sudden allegiance. They say in politics, ‘there are no permanent friends and enemies,’ but rather keep your enemies close to check their day to day activities hence under check. It will be stupid of Mnangagwa to ever think that these two ladies are for his good, they are actually in his camp for failure to gunner any reasonable ground in the Mujuru faction the last time they tried. Mnangagwa should be careful not to disclose any ‘top secrets’, if any, about his ambitions since these two can to be trusted. Even Oppa must also understand that Dr Giresi is just singing for her supper as she realise that Bob is now like a dead horse waiting to decompose and hence she will soon be a widow threatened by percieved enemies and probably business taken also…I therefore doubt the genuineness of these people in their dealings with Dr Giresi, Mnangagwa and Oppa. That camp is doomed as I feel there is not a clear strategy on the distribution of power if at all they will obtain it.

  7. Garikayi says:

    Mnangagwa for retirement, zvaramba wena

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