HARARE – Former Masvingo provincial minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti has warned his former comrades in the warring post-congress Zanu PF to prepare to salute First Lady Grace Mugabe as the party’s leader, saying sarcastically that “she is going to inherit what is rightfully hers”.
Speaking tongue-in-cheek in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, amid a push by Grace’s supporters that she and not Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeds Mugabe, Bhasikiti said the ruling party was no longer “a people’s party, as it is now a Mugabe fiefdom”.
Bhasikiti, who was sacked from the ruling party together with dozens of other party bigwigs for supporting former Vice President Joice Mujuru, said the constitutional changes that had been adopted during Zanu PF’s damp squib “elective” congress in December last year “effectively entitle Grace to take over from her husband, and subsequently her children as well”.
“Grace is totally right in her aspirations to succeed the president because there is no way she can let her family estate be taken away by outsiders.
“The party is Mugabe’s property and it is only normal for a wife to take over the administration of the Gushungo family property from her husband and subsequently hand this over to her children,” Bhasikiti said.
He added that those senior party officials such as Mnangagwa who were allegedly angling to take over from Mugabe when he “finally calls it quits are day-dreaming”.
“Do not expect any other leader besides Grace because that would be abnormal. Even at law, it is the immediate family — that is the wife and children, who inherit a husband’s property.
“As it stands now, since December 2014 Grace has every right over the party. Party officials should by now know who the owner of the party is. Grace is perfectly correct in demanding her rightful place in the party,” he added.
However, the former Mwenezi legislator was quick to emphasise that Grace’s “proprietary rights” were only limited to the post-congress Zanu PF.
“When it comes to the national presidency she will have to meet us as People First, where we believe in putting the interests of the people at the front burner of everything.
“There, she has no rights as we will provide the national president. When you look for the country’s president, look no further than People First because we are the people’s party,” he said.
Chipping in, MDC secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora said Zanu PF had never been a democratic institution, hence “its personalisation by the First Family”.
“We all know about the undemocratic nature of Zanu PF. They have, unlike us in the MDC, never held democratic elections. So, whether it is Grace or Mnangagwa, it really doesn’t help Zimbabweans.
“What we know is that come 2018, the MDC will provide the country’s president and that will be Morgan Tsvangirai,’’ Mwonzora said.Dailynews