- Published: 09 September 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwean
Grace Mugabe is not prepared to assume any meaningful role in Zanu (PF) or government and will never rule Zimbabwe, said former Minister and MDC Member of Parliament, Priscilla Misihairabwi Mushonga.
Speaking at the Southern African Political and Economic Series Trust recently, Misihairabwi said the First Lady had no capacity to satisfactorily handle high political party responsibilities.
"Grace is not ready to manage the Zanu (PF) kind of politics and will never be the state president in her life time," said Misihairabwi, dismissing suggestions that Mugabe was grooming Grace for the presidency as wild and farfetched dreams.
Misihairabwi pointed out that Grace was being used by one of the two Zanu (PF) factions to achieve some goals.
The MDC secretary general noted that the fact that it took Zanu (PF) some 21 years after Mugabe's first wife, Sally, had passed away to recognise Grace as a political force, showed that she was not taken seriously by the ruling party.
Grace, said Misihairabwi, would not understand Zanu (PF) politics let alone government affairs and her entry into politics has no significance to happenings in the party.
According to Misihairabwi, Mugabe made his choice about who to mentor for some presidium roles not his successor and 'that person is none other than Joyce Mujuru'.
She said the Zanu (PF) December elective congress would not finalise the succession wrangle, but make clearer who would be in control of presidential affairs.
"Mugabe rarely shifts positions and since he chose Mujuru as Vice President it is unlikely that he has changed his mind. This was underscored by the fact that Mugabe did not nullify the recent disputed Zanu (PF) Youth Wing elections," Misihairabwi said, observing that if Mujuru had fallen out of Mugabe's favour the party elections favouring her would have been put on ice.
Misihairabwi added another interesting dimension to Grace's ascendancy to political power.
She suspected that Grace might be appointed Minister of Women's Affairs, Gender and Community Development to avoid a clash of interest between the boss at the party Women's League and the respective minister.
The outspoken Misihairabwi dismissed rumours that Mugabe was no longer in control of Zanu (PF). She said Mugabe was very much in control since all party members both men and women would kneel before him to seek permission for whatever business.
Derek Matyzak, senior researcher with the Research and Advocacy Unit, concurred with Misihairabwi that, Mujuru could succeed Mugabe since her dominance of the party politburo had significant influence over party structures eligible to vote at the elective congress.
Matyzak was quick to point out that any Mugabe nominated candidate might be rejected by internal party structures which need proper Zanu (PF) processes to be followed.
"At the end of the day the Zanu (PF) guided democracy would give guidance to the voters to elect good candidates," noted Matyzak.
A research made by RAU found that the Zanu (PF) succession battle would be viewed as a contest between the Zezuru led by Mujuru and the Karanga represented by Mnangagwa.
"It certainly seems to be outside any coincidence that the Head of State, President Mugabe, a Vice President, Mujuru, the head of the judiciary, Godfrey Chidyausiku, the head of the Defence Forces, Constantine Chiwenga, the head of the Air Force, Perence Shiri, the head of Police, Augustine Chihuri and the Registrar General of Elections are all Zezuru.
"None of the four Cabinet Ministers of the last government excluded from the Politburo were Zezuru," reads part of the RAU research report.
The report however indicated that observers noted that the succession battle might not only be fought on ethnic lines, but the military factor.
It was noted that the securocrats who stepped in to ensure Mugabe's victory at the June, 2013 presidential election, would be a determining factor depending on who they feel has the capacity to protect their positions and the status quo.
The military preferred candidate would be in a position to protect the Zanu (PF) old guard and believe in 'rule by entitlement' by virtue of their contributions made during the liberation war.
Grace's appearance at the political stage sent fears among some Zanu (PF) sections that Mugabe wanted her assume the presidency when the right time comes.