Grace Mugabe set to enter Zim

Grace Mugabe set to enter Zim politics

Bob Mugabe, step over. Your wife looks like she might soon be the new kid on the block…

Grace Mugabe set to enter Zim

Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace is preparing her entrance into politics through the ruling party’s Women’s League.

Mrs Mugabe was elected into the leadership of the ZANU-PF Mashonaland West Women’s League central committee in the party’s Zvimba district, where she stood unchallenged in the face of her credits as the country’s first lady. With her new position established, Grace Mugabe is now expected to attend the nationwide ZANU-PF Women’s League conference later in August, where she will officially be nominated to become head of the entire organisation. The winner will be confirmed and sworn in by the end of the year.

Though somewhat tightly contested, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Grace Mugabe did manage to come out triumphantly from that election as well, as her popularity seems to be at an all-time high, as she is beginning to build her leadership-style on her husband’s legacy, though some analysts have brandished her as an arrogant antithesis of the Zimbabwean president.

The regional elections among the ladies of the ruling ZANU-PF party did not come without their own set of controversies. In the run-up to her election, the first lady had attacked various of her political opponents in a direct, accusative style, which otherwise is only ever attributed to her husband’s style in rhetoric. As the ailing and aging statesman is seen less frequently during public engagements these days, questions now start to arise whether Grace Mugabe might be in the process of being groomed for a higher public office in the future, with the next general election in Zimbabwe scheduled for 2018. In any case, it is expected that the first lady’s entrance in politics is intended to protect the Mugabe dynasty’s financial and business interests beyond Bob Mugabe’s years.

However, the future is unlikely to be and easy path to walk for Grace Mugabe, as criticism for her lack of experience has already been voiced. Some of those critics have even called her nomination unconstitutional, as all other precedents set in senior leadership positions of the country under ZANU-PF’s rule would require at least five years of service at provincial level. But bending these rules seems to be least of Zimbabwe’s problems, where allegations of election rigging and related crimes appear to be commonplace with each run to the polls.

Across various districts in the country entire scores of female members of the party were reported as abducted or missing ahead of their local polls taking place last week, with political heavyweights in the government alleged to be behind these scare tactics and electoral interventions.

The 49-year-old first lady meanwhile remains admired throughout Zimbabwe as the country’s spiritual mother as much as she is for her opulent and extravagant lifestyle – as long as you don’t account for the voices of dissent, that is.