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'Grace Mugabe is going to be Zanu-PF candidate in 2018' -Report

by Itai Mushekwe/Malvin Motsi/Mary-Kate Kahari
01 Apr 2016 at 07:08hrs | Views
First Lady, Grace Mugabe, has all but now moved in for the kill, in launching a final assault on becoming the next possible President of Zimbabwe, amid disclosures this week that Zanu PF youths and the party's Women's League are now fully rallying behind her, and want her to run in the 2018 presidential polls, Spotlight Zimbabwe, reported.

The first lady, has denied ever harbouring ambitions to succeed her husband President Robert Mugabe, saying she is just helping to protect his throne from party factionalism, and falling into wrong undeserving hands.

Grace it also appears, could now be living up to her political vow of last year, when she told a rally of party supporters, that she must not be counted out as a potential future president, because Mugabe may choose her as his successor when he decides to leave office.

"I cannot be counted out," Grace said on 4 December in Masvingo province. "President Mugabe has the prerogative of choosing his successor."

There is also growing speculation in the capital, that Mugabe is eventually going to choose Grace, to takeover the presidency at the right time, while leading power rivals to his office and the generality of Zimbabweans down a garden path.

Top level sources in the ruling party's women's league and legislators openly loyal to Grace say, a constitutional plan has allegedly been formulated to stop Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, from ascending to replace Mugabe, who increasingly looks unlikely to be fit enough to be Zanu PF's candidate in two years, when opposition leaders, MDC-T boss Morgan Tsvangirai and interim Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) president, Joice Mujuru, come all out to wrestle power from Zanu PF in the historic plebiscite.

In a tacit admission, that he might not be seeking re-election in 2018 Mugabe this week told reporters in Japan that:"Only God knows what will happen in two years' timeā€¦ If I am fit enough (to contest), yes, but if I am not fit enough, I will not," he said.

The ground for Grace's power assault, according to our sources is set to be laid down by the one million march being organised, by the party's youth next month under the pretext of supporting Mugabe, yet it is a move to gauge the first lady's nationwide appeal reportedly masterminded by the so-called Generation 40 (G40) gang.

"I can confirm to you today, that The First Lady, is going to be our candidate in 2018," said a youth leader whose identity we are withholding as he is not cleared to speak directly with the media on party affairs. "Just look at the seriousness of this march. Each of the country's 10 provinces, is going to send 100 000 youths for the event, the financial resources and all logistics are already in place. We plan another million march for Amai (Grace Mugabe) in late 2017, but this time it will be a million women coming to Harare, to push for her endorsement."

In November 2007, war veterans staged a similar million-man march in support of Mugabe's bid to extend his rule in the 2008 violent elections, in the face of a severe economic crisis blamed on his government at the time, which was threatening his stay in power. The march was meant to demonstrate that Mugabe, was still enjoying solid support despite opposition to his rule by Western powers.

"Brace yourselves for more marches and countrywide rallies, where our leader will meet with all the people across the country," another women's league leader in Manicaland said last night. "Women deserve their chance to lead Zimbabwe and we can do a good job as well. Joice Mujuru was going to make history had she not rebelled against the President. Now the league is going to push for a woman candidate in 2018 to become president, and you know who it is."

Spotlight Zimbabwe heard that, plans are at an advanced stage to amend the Zanu PF Constitution to make a special provision for the first female candidate to represent the party in 2018.

"Women are the majority voters in this country, saka hazvirambe (it is not impossible for a female candidate to win). If Hillary Clinton wins later this year, for sure we are going to seize the momentum. Even Germany is being led by a very strong woman, you should know better."

Meanwhile security around Grace has reportedly been tightened. The first lady last month fired a broadside at Mnangagwa and senior security officials in Chiweshe, for attempting to instil fear in her, by allegedly conniving to bomb the family dairy business, in the hope that the first family will yield power, and vacate State House.

Below are the first lady's remarks at the rally:

"Unoziva unongoti pindei kudaiso, wobva watogarisa iwe uchangopinda. Ndinovhairirwa nekamwe katsotso,tsotso zvako. Kuti ndakaenda kuhondo handiudzwe namai Mugabe kuti iwewe usaite zvakati nekuti ndakaenda kuhondo. Kundityitsidzira ini handiti. Why do you have to go mupublic uchiti ndakazorwa hondo ndakazodai, Amai Mugabe hawafaniri kundiuudza, hawachadi maex-combatants. Iwewe chete kuti ndisakutsuure, ndichiona kuti urikuparadza party. Kwete pasi newe. The issue iyoyo yekuti hanzi munorongana, motorana nemasoja kunobhomba, it will not work. It will actually work against you. Nekuti zviripo ndezvekuti kuda kutyitsidzira vaMugabe namai Mugabe, kuti no tikawatyitsidzira kuti takunobhomba kudairy kwavo, wanozotitya wozotipa zvigaro, unopenga. Chigaro chipi chacho? chani?"

Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, was not picking up his mobile phone yesterday when we called for his comment.

Grace's power bid faces severe hurdles, as Spotlight Zimbabwe last week reported that Mnangagwa is reported to have received a boost from various International players, thought to be trusting him to bring about an economic stimulus to Harare. The vice president is also believed to be having the support, of the command element, of the country's security establishment.

Source - spotlight