5 issues to learn about Zimbabwe’s 1st woman, probably successor


HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s first woman has moved a dramatic step nearer to succeeding her husband as chief. President Robert Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state, this week fired longtime deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, eradicating the person lengthy seen because the front-runner to take energy when the 93-year-old Mugabe strikes on.

The more and more outspoken Grace Mugabe, who has survived various scandals, now seems to be poised to grow to be one of many nation’s two vice presidents. Here are 5 issues to learn about her:



Grace Mugabe was a secretary within the president’s workplace when the 2 started an affair whereas Robert Mugabe was married to his first spouse, Sally. Grace and the president had two kids whereas his spouse was ailing from the kidney failure that killed her in 1992. Grace break up together with her personal husband, and her wedding ceremony to the president in 1996 was attended by Nelson Mandela and different African leaders.

The 52-year-old South African-born first woman has seen her profile rise prior to now few years and in current months has fiercely defended her ailing husband, declaring that he ought to run “as a corpse” in subsequent yr’s election if he dies earlier than the vote.



The first woman precipitated outrage earlier this yr when a South African mannequin accused her of badping her with an extension twine in a Johannesburg lodge room. Grace Mugabe was granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa regardless of requires her prosecution. She later accused the 20-year-old of being the aggressor.

In 2009, the primary woman escaped fees by means of diplomatic immunity after allegedly badaulting a British journalist who tried to her whereas she was procuring in Hong Kong.

“Her controversies will not do much to stop her. In (the ruling party) ZANU-PF, they seem to be accepting her as her husband’s successor. The problem might be getting the support of other Zimbabweans who feel she is simply not presidential material,” stated Harare-based political badyst Alex Rusero.



Despite an usually abrasive method, Grace Mugabe’s commanding presence and charity work have received badist from some Zimbabweans. But whereas she usually shows her charitable aspect, speaking about how she takes care of orphans at a farm close to the capital, Harare, she additionally faces criticism for lavish private spending.

Last month, the primary woman approached a Harare courtroom to recuperate over $1 million she stated she paid to a Lebanese for a 100-carat diamond ring. Such actions have annoyed many within the once-prosperous southern African nation whose financial system has fallen aside in recent times.



The first woman emerged to grow to be her husband’s chief defender in 2014, when she led the firing of Joice Mujuru, a vp and potential successor to the president. The similar yr, Grace Mugabe was appointed to move the ruling get together’s ladies’s league.

In current weeks the primary woman and her husband had overtly criticized Mnangagwa, a longtime ally of the president. On Sunday, she stated the vp must be fired for allegedly plotting to oust her husband, whereas displaying her personal presidential ambitions.

“So I have said to the president, you can also leave me in charge. You can also give me your position. Give me the job and I will do it very well because I am good. I can do a great job,” she stated.



In July, the primary woman broke taboo and overtly instructed her husband to decide on a successor, saying it might “enable all members to rally behind one candidate.”

Mugabe has stated he desires to rule for all times, though he has confirmed indicators of hbadle strolling and has traveled to Singapore ceaselessly for medical consideration. He has not publicly indicated a successor.

But with Mnangagwa’s firing, some ruling get together officers have been overtly advocating for the primary woman to take his place. “The only person possessing such qualities is the leader of the women’s league, none other than her excellency Dr. Grace Mugabe,” youth league chief Kudzai Chipanga instructed reporters.

While the primary woman might need to take care of different longtime allies of the president, together with army commanders who served throughout the struggle for independence from white rule, get together provincial bademblies have already got requested for the expulsion of dozens of senior get together members who supported Mnangagwa.

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