ZIMBABWE’S increasingly powerful First Lady, Grace Mugabe, has started a major clean up at State House that has seen most old horses loyal to President Robert Mugabe being dismissed because they have no academic qualifications at all.
A source close to State House, says in mid-November, a list of people who have to pack their bags and go was announced after Grace—who last year acquired a dubious doctorate degree from the University of Zimbabwe—insisted there was no longer room for uneducated people at State House.
Those being dismissed include gardeners, maids, guards, drivers and other hangers-on that for year have made State House their home.
“While many are complaining and claiming victimisation, the process appear to be fair in that many of them were over the years asked to acquire some form of educational qualifications, but many choose to ignore the warning, thinking it would be business as usual as most of them were employed to work at State House because they were close relatives of the President or those of the people who were very close to him,” a source said. “Most of these people only have themselves to blame, because they refused to go to school… even the maid to the Mugabes has six O-Levels and she is studying further.”
The source said that the clean up is targeting only those that have no educational qualifications what so ever, while those that the First lady might not personally like but have some form of qualification are transferred to other government departments.
“Anyone who wanted to go to school was given a chance over the years and some were even sent to study in countries like Malaysia and Singapore, but there were some who did not want even to hear of it,” the source added.
It is believed the move by Grace is meant to replace people with old loyalties to the aged leader with those people who are loyal to her personally as she tries to ring-fence her home from possible infiltration especially in view of the many people who were once close to the First Family who have since fallen out of favour with the Mugabes as succession fights take their toll on ZANU-PF.
Among those that have fallen victim to the clean-up are some of Mugabe’s close relatives who have been hangers-on at State House over the years. It is understood that most of Mugabe’s relatives do not like Grace personally, as they believe she is disrespectful to the family and clan and has of late been abusively manipulating the old man as she seeks to further her political ambitions.