by Staff Reporter
HARARE-THE spokesman for Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, is now effectively the person in charge of the country as confirmed by her latest statements.
In a statement, Luke Tamborinyoka said the way Grace Mugabe has been behaving and acting of late only serves to confirm that Mugabe is no longer in control of the country.
“We now have a two-fold crisis of legitimacy in the country. Not only did Mugabe steal a mandate in 2013, but that mandate has also been stolen from him by his wife. A few months ago, Jabulani Sibanda spoke of a bedroom coup and Zimbabweans thought it was a laughing matter. Now the “pillow de tat” is official. Grace is now in charge,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tamborinyoka was referring to a case that is pending before the courts in which Sibanda, a former leader of the country’s war veterans is being charged with undermining the authority of President Mugabe after he told war veterans last November that they should not allow Mugabe and his wife to remove then Vice President Joice Mujuru from office through a “bedroom coup”. Sibanda is alleged to have said he was not prepared for such an arrangement because power is not “sexually transmitted”.
Although Grace is not a government official, she has been effectively calling the shots since she muscled her way to the post of chairperson of the ZANU-PF Women League.
This week Grace took virtually everyone who matters in government—including the country’s two vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko—to Kadoma where she was conducting a groundbreaking ceremony for a housing project spearheaded by a ZANU-PF functionary.
Said Tamborinyoka: “When you have two VPs, pen and notebook in hand, daily taking notes and instructions not from the President but from his wife, it mean a de facto Head of State is now in charge.
Mugabe should resign on account of dereliction of duty, even though that duty was stolen in the first place. Chekuba hachigari, nhasi abirwawo (what he stole has been stolen from him.”
At the Kadoma event Grace told the gathering that unlike the former VP Mujuru, the current VPs are always consulting him.
“And some may have a legitimate concern as to where the President will be when his two male deputies engage in these reportedly regular consultations with his wife,” said Tamborinyoka. “And remember on the same day the two VPs and almost of the Cabinet were accompanying the First Lady in Kadoma, the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda was accusing cabinet ministers of being in contempt of Parliament because none of them was in the august house to answer questions from MPs. They had all gone with ‘Dr Amai’.”
At the same Kadoma event Grace demanded the dismissal of Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana over views he allegedly expressed on the issue of the age of consent for girls. So powerful has Grace become that many expect Tomana to be fired.