‘Mao’s Wife Ended in Jail’, Tsvangirai tells Grace Mugabe

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai lashed out at the ruling Zanu PF party Wednesday for allowing itself to be dragged into a battle between two women while Zimbabwe burns.

Ex-PM Morgan Tsvangirai
Ex-PM Morgan Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai poked fun at the First Lady saying her current efforts to succeed her ageing husband were akin to the failed attempt by the long gone Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Tse Tung’s wife Jiang Qing to succeed her husband.

After her husband died in 1976, Qing was imprisoned and later committed suicide following her release on medical grounds in 1991.

The MDC-T leader was referring to the bickering between President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, and Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

Grace has over the past weeks been on a warpath, attacking Mujuru for allegedly plotting to oust and assassinate her 90-year-old husband.

Said Tsvangirai: “What’s happening is not different from what happened in Mao Tse Tung’s days.


“When the big man’s inevitable exit is unavoidable, what happens is that nonentities, opportunists take advantage because there is a political vacuum.

“Mao’s wife tried to take over the leadership of the Communist Party because Mao was dying and unfortunately the Gang of Four did not succeed.”

Tsvangirai continued: “The same applied to Malawi, when Banda was dying, John Tembo and Mama (Cecilia) Kadzamira tried to take over the leadership. Aren’t we seeing history repeating itself in Zimbabwe?”

With Mugabe at the sunset of his political career, hawks have been circling around the Zimbabwean leader. Zanu PF has now been split into two factions led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mujuru.

Mujuru, by virtue of her current position in Zanu PF, was tipped to take over from the veteran leader when he steps down or dies.

But Mujuru’s fortunes took a knock when the first family apparently turned against her accusing the vice-president of attempting to stampede Mugabe from power.

Grace has used every platform available to attack Mujuru and decampaign her ahead of the party’s December congress.

Mugabe, on his part, has also come out in full support of his wife, insisting his vice was seeing the last of her days as in government.

Zanu PF politicians linked to the Mujuru camp have suffered collateral damage, with eight provincial chairpersons sent packing for aligning themselves with the embattled vice-president.


Tsvangirai said senior Zanu PF officials had allowed themselves to be used in a succession battle involving Zimbabwe’s two most powerful women at the expense of the long suffering citizens.

“The unfortunate thing is that it is the people who are facing the crisis and l don’t know how this lack of leadership that we are witnessing can solve the problem that we are all facing,” Tsvangirai said.

“How does a fight between two women affect you having a meal on the day; how does that prevent companies from closing, how does it help you in any way to solve any one of the problems that we are facing?

“Please give us a break, get away from the circus.”