via Grace off to a very bad start | The Zimbabwean 13 August 2014
Grace Mugabe has started her political marathon with an awkward stumble and it looks as though she will be tripping everyone on the Zanu (PF) turf. Oppah Muchinguri, the party’s outgoing secretary for women’s affairs, Olivia Muchena and other party heavyweights behind the scenes gifted the First Lady with the baton in Mazowe recently – when they announced that she must take over the Women’s League.
Shortly after her endorsement as the next Women’s League boss, party youths were shepherded to Mazowe where, led by a very old youth called Absolom Sikhosana, they further bolstered Grace’s rehearsed elevation by giving her the thumbs up ahead of congress in December. The sight of thousands of youths must have pumped adrenalin into her system and she wasted no time letting her tongue do the walking for her.
I must admit I was taken aback by the manner in which she drilled into Fortune Chasi, the Mazowe South MP. Chasi’s constituency is where the Mugabe farming empire is located. Chasi, by the way, is also the straight talking Deputy Minister of Justice who recently told us that last year’s elections left a lot to be desired. He was, of course, repeating things we all knew, SADC included.
Grace made all sorts of accusations against Chasi which, when you look at them more closely, don’t wash at all. She claimed the deputy minister had been sending youths to invade her ever expanding farmland as a way of frustrating her and President Robert Mugabe out of Mazowe! In fact, she said Chasi was out to get her and Mugabe.
She accused him of funding a legal process against her, saying the MP was accusing her and husband of a plot to colonise his constituency. To cap it all, she said, Chasi was a receiver of dirty money from a white farmer, insinuating that the latter bribed him to fight her empire expansion.
Assuming he had said that, I wouldn’t fault him because it is true. Mazowe and Mashonaland Central are fast turning into Graceland, pardon the pun. That Grace is building an orphanage here or a school there is neither here nor there; this is just a façade to turn herself into a land baroness. No sane person would believe her gobbledygook.
Besides, Chasi, by virtue of being the people’s representative in the area, has the constitutional burden to protect his constituency against the shocks that the likes of the First Lady will cause now or then. Any MP worth his salt would not stand by as Grace ejected whole families and condemned them to the wintry roadside as she did a while ago.
But then, there are certain things that a Zanu (PF) member will not do. Chasi is by my standards still a political minnow, and for him to start fighting Mugabe is inconceivable. He would not spend a single minute thinking about that. Who does not know that the proven survival tactic in Zanu (PF) is to sing the Mugabe praises? How, then, would Chasi, all of a sudden, break from the ranks and begin a lone and losing battle?
Grace, on her own admission, does not even know Chasi. She has heard through the bustling Women’s League rumour mill that he is the area’s MP. How she can have so many properties in Mazowe South and fail to know the area’s MP boggles the mind. One would have expected her to be regularly consulting with him over a whole lot of issues because her purported children’s home and farms are in Chasi’s constituency. I smell a big, maggot-ridden rat here.
The fact that she is depending on rumour to make statements that are so damaging to Chasi does not help her cause. There isn’t a single thing of what she said that she can prove because there is nothing to prove. The truth is that there are people out there who are probably fighting their own factional wars who have been feeding her with all sorts of conspiracy theories.
That means a turbulent time ahead for the Women’s League and Zanu (PF). Grace has already shown a schoolgirl knack to base all she does on rumour. A small ember can burn down a whole forest. The tongue is the handiest tool to destroy households and Grace’s sharp tongue will surely kill Zanu (PF). That is why I say she is off to a very bad start.
Instead uniting Zanu (PF), she is already flaunting her abundant capacity to do the opposite. Very soon, every woman in the Women’s League will be running to her with all sorts of claims. Being the rumour repository that she has amply proven herself to be, her decisions are likely be based on what she hears, not what is there in reality. Before you know it, the Women’s League will splinter into a thousand pieces of shrapnel that will destroy the party.
Grace is already on the warpath. When the youths were commandeered to Mazowe last week, she boasted to them that she was a bouncer for hire. Never mind her small fist, she proclaimed, she would pack it with stones to assault all those opposed to her ascension to power. She won’t need much help to turn the party into a war zone. – To comment on this article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org