Zimbabwe: How Mugabe, Grace could not read Write on the wall – tech2.org

Zimbabwe: How Mugabe, Grace could not read Write on the wall


By Charlse Laiton

A month before the ignominious departure of former President Robert Mugabe, his wife surprised the Zimbabweans when he challenged the soldiers to shoot him.

Grace Mugabe complained about the army's alleged pressure for her elderly husband to hand over power to then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Three weeks after the 93-year-old ruler was forced to relinquish power and while the dust settles after a dramatic transition in which Mnangagwa replaced his mentor, questions are now being asked how Mugabe could not read the writing on the wall.

On November 15, the Zimbabwe Defense Forces announced that they had taken over the government and finally squeezed the Zanu PF leader out of power.

Grace was defiant to the end after pushing for Mnangagwa's dismissal as vice president, a move that seemed to infuriate the military.

Former women's league chief Zanu PF first accused the military of conspiring against her husband at a demonstration in Chiweshe where she also had an opportunity with the new president.

Elderred Masunungure, professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), said that although Mugabe was a shrewd politician, he did not foresee a military takeover.

"I have always referred to him as a Machiavellian political operator, who understands the logic of power and I believe that power tends to intoxicate its incumbent," he said.

"I think he had become so arrogant that he did not appreciate that the pillar of the military also have their sensitivity and interests that were harmed by the way the former first lady ridiculed them in public"

Masunungure said that Grace pushed the generals to the edge with their aggressive approach to politics and their unbridled ambition.

The former typist enjoyed the backing of a Zanu PF faction known as the G40, and by the end of its days the group was pushing for the annihilation of the Lacoste faction linked to Mnangagwa.

"I think the former first lady was not very diplomatic in the way she articulated her interests and ambitions," Masunungure added.

"It is his intemperate language and his gestures of not being sensitive to the nature of the security forces and their interests, and that the army is particularly a sensitive institution.

" It is a pillar of support in any other But here it was particularly with respect to the Mugabe regime and what it was doing was eroding the confidence of the military and within it, the army. "

Mugabe had always relied on the military for political survival, but the arrival of his wife of 52 years on the political scene in 2014 changed the dynamics.

Grace seemed determined to succeed her husband, but the push was intended to harm Mugabe's supporters in the army.

Masunungure said that it was possible for the generals to turn to Mugabe to control his wife, but the veteran ruler could not do anything because of his advanced age.

"As I understand it, the security forces expressed their concern about the way in which the former first lady addressed the military and the security chiefs, particularly those of the army and, within him, General Constantino. Chiwenga, "said the academic.

" You could have expressed your concerns, if you had any, your husband, who was the president, but managed to take away a critical part of the Mugabe regime and when you do that, the wheels tend to leave as they did in mid-November of this year. "

Mugabe may also have seen that a coup was imminent but he was not yet able to tame his wife, said Masunungure.

" You must also appreciate and recognize that the former president is advanced in age and advanced in fragility. As for health, so their mental and physical resistance decreases more and more, and as a result, they may not have had enough control as before in their own home, including controlling their faith, "he said

." He could not control his wife to make sure he did not act beyond the constitutional and legal limits of his role.

"I had no constitutionally defined role, except that in the title & # 39; first lady & # 39; and beyond that, she had no official or constitutional role to play in the governmental affairs of this country" [19659025] Masunungure said Grace had also alienated influential people in Zanu PF, creating a fertile ground for a popular uprising against the then-oldest leader in the world.

"She drove many away, not only in the army but at the party." The way she ridiculed, humiliated and embarrbaded many of the older people at the party, including some who were old enough to be their father or their grandfather "

" I think she did things the wrong way, she was not as political as she should be. "

Former Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said that Mugabe and Grace were so naive that they could not read the signs that security forces were being pushed to the limit. [19659029] "The G40 clique saw the coup coming including Grace, the military itself always warned, you remember General Chiwenga actually in a moment, about three months ago they claimed that the gun always leads the policy and Mugabe responded that politics always He has taken the gun to Zanu PF, "said the leader of the MDC.

"You will also recall Jonathan Moyo's presentation to the politburo about the capture of the state, that all state institutions and most state institutions, including the army, had been captured to overthrow Mugabe.

Just do not we believed, but, given clearly the way the coup was executed, there is no doubt that it was planned a long time ago.

"If you go back and read the presentation of Moyo and read that of President Eme In the refutation of Mnangagwa, You will see that everything Moyo said was correct and if today he reads what President Mnangagwa said in rebuttal [it has] it turned out to be false.

"So it's not just that Grace said it, the whole G40 saw it, they did not actually see it, but the army itself did not hide its determination to intervene in this, so it was always out there."

Ncube said that Mugabe could have avoided the coup because he firmly believed that the military would never turn against him.

"Personally, I think that 37 years in power and being a strong man and your word are literally the word, you tend not to believe that someone dares," he added.

"I think it was his undoing, he just thought that they would not dare and, after the coup, he still did not believe that they would disobey him when he said:" Well, let's go to the congress of Zanu PF and let's do it ", until the last minute I still thought that he had authority. "

However, Maxwell Saungweme, a political commentator believes that Mugabe and Grace were so out of touch with reality that they thought they were indispensable.

"Grace could have seen a coup coming and rebuked people about it, but she, like Mugabe, was out of touch with reality and thought that mysticism, mystery and the myth of the name & # 39; Mugabe & # 39; and his supposed power was too powerful for any of Mugabe's subordinates to turn against him. " Said

"It happens when one gets intoxicated with power and fame, a spirit of invincibility envelops him to the extent that he is bigger than life and not even an illness can afflict him."

"This is the mirage, the Chimera that the Mugabes believed so much that they distanced themselves from reality. Yes, you only had to be blind to think that everything was fine.

"Even a naive and unsophisticated mind like Grace's could discern that."

The political badyst of the United Kingdom, Gladys Hlatshwayo, echoed the sentiments of Saungweme. the takeover of the army had become inevitable after the expulsion of Mnangagwa from the government and Zanu PF last month.

The Director of Human Rights Watch in Southern Africa Dewa Mavhinga said that Zimbabwean security forces were too involved in politics, so a coup was always a possibility.

"But perhaps the mistake they made was to badume that firing Mnangagwa would stop the generals and that, as Grace often said wrongly, Sadc and the African Union would not accept an unconstitutional change of government," he said. [19659009] "In the end it turned out that no one was prepared to defend Mugabe and the generals made it look like the coup was not a coup, making the foreign intervention useless.

" Mugabe may have overestimated the power of his patronage over the generals and underestimated the business and political ties between Mnangagwa and the generals.

"Again Mugabe underestimated the patriarchal disdain and opposition to Grace Mugabe taking over, perhaps if another candidate had been introduced, the resistance would not have happened, while Mugabe was close.But Grace was vile and made enemies to the left , to the right and to the center ".

Mugabe told a South African delegation sent by President Jacob Zuma to mediate between the former president and the generals that he never expected the military to turn against him because he gave them land.

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