By TZN Correspondent
Since 1980 when Zimbabwe was born , the landlocked Southern African remained a highly charged place politically.The country has never been short of controversial characters who have divided opinion. With rivalry between the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democractic Change which has continued to fragment since its formation in 1999, other politicians have also emerged who have changed the course of the game.
Below are 5 major figures who often get into the eye of the political storm.
1. Acie Lumumba (Dr William Mutumanje)
Acie Lumumba is a Zimbabwean politician and media personality. He is a former member of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF). He has been accused of misappropriation of funds and corruption on a number of occasions. In May 2016 Lumumba quit Zanu-PF citing the party’s failure to deliver on its promises to the people of ZImbabwe as the reason. In early June 20016, | H-Metro released pictures taken from a Sex Tape that Lumumba made with an unidentified woman. In late June 2016, Lumumba launched his new party Viva Zimbabwe and at the launched insulted Robert Mugabe using the F-word. He also threatened that if anything happened to him, Mugabe’s children would be “touched” too.
MDC-T Bulawayo East legislator Thabitha Khumalo last year stormed Njube Hall in the city topless after violence erupted at the party’s district rally resulting in her T-shirt being torn apart.
However, she briefly disrupted an address by the party’s vice president Thokozani Khupe, alleging she was undressed by police officers.
Party leader Morgan Tsvangirai who was supposed to address the rally, had returned to Harare in a huff, where MDC-T officials said he had to deal with a crisis at the party’s headquarters.
In 2013 , Supporters who attended Tsvangirai’s London meeting said the MDC leader branded Khumalo a “drunkard” after a supporter only identified as Chikowore stood up from the gallery and mistakenly claimed that Khumalo had earlier told supporters not to buy party cards after reports of the unaccounted £57 000 that vanished under his nose.
Morgan Tsvangirai has risen from working in a Zimbabwean mine to becoming the symbol of resistance to government repression to prime minister.
But after losing the 2013 elections by a landslide, even if he alleges widespread fraud, he now finds himself back to square one.
He may even face a challenge for the leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change, which he founded in 2000.
After the March 2008 elections, it seemed he was on the verge of finally unseating President Robert Mugabe.
He gained the most votes but, according to official results, not enough to win outright. Before the second round was held in June, his supporters were targeted in a campaign of violence and he pulled out.
After months of tortuous negotiations while the economy collapsed, he was finally sworn in as prime minister of a power-sharing government, in February 2009, with Mr Mugabe remaining president.
A charismatic public speaker, he is a brave man – constantly running the risk of arrest or assassination since emerging several years ago as President Mugabe’s first credible challenger since the 1980s.
As the leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition, he has been brutally assaulted, charged with treason and routinely labelled a “traitor”.
In 2007, the world was shocked to see pictures of his injuries after police beat him after arresting him for taking part in a prayer meeting which they said was illegal.
President Mugabe said the veteran trade unionist “deserved” his treatment for disobeying police orders.
His image was also tarnished by his complicated love affairs since his first wife, Susan, died in a car crash soon after he became prime minister.
Two women went to court to try to block his marriage to Elizabeth Macheka, 35, in September 2012.
A court agreed that he had already wed one of them in a traditional ceremony, so he was obliged to marry Ms Macheka in a “customary” union which recognises polygamy.
Bizarrely, all three of the women had close family links to members of Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, lending credence to suggestions that he was the victim of dirty tricks.
But his critics say he has been too busy enjoying the trappings of power and has ignored the people he said he was fighting for.
4. Mandiitawepi Chimene
Mandi Chimene is the Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister and Makoni South member of parliament as well as chairperson of the Zimbabwe-China Friendship Association.She attended Zamula Primary School before enrolling at St Josephs High School where she dropped out at Form 3. Speaking at the official opening of the Jibilika Dance Festival in Mutare on Friday 26 August 2016, Chimene disclosed her academic qualifications,
I am here because I knew and pursued what or where I am best at. I went to Zamula for my primary and went to St Josephs for my secondary education up to Form Three, but I am now a Minister of State. Don’t condemn yourself. You can be a star from wherever you are. Just know what you are good at and work on it.
Mandi , a self-confessed pot smoker in July openly attacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as War Veterans meet President Mugabe. She boldly told President Mugabe that Mnangagwa was the problem in ZANU PF and the War Veterans
5. Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe needs no introduction.She is the Zimbabwean first lady; wife to President Robert Mugabe of the ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF). She is also the Secretary of the ZANU- PF Women’s League after her nomination and subsequent election in 2014. She is also an established philanthropist who owns an orphanage in the Mazowe area of Mashonaland Central province.
Grace was born in Benoni in South Africa, and her family lived in South Africa until 1970. She was previously married to Stanley Goreraza, an air force pilot, who is defence attaché at the Zimbabwe embassy in China. As secretary to the president, she became his mistress while still married to Goreraza and together they had two children, Bona, named after Mugabe’s mother, and Robert Peter, Jr. The couple were married in an extravagant Catholic Mass, titled the “Wedding of the Century” by the Zimbabwe press, after the death of Mugabe’s first wife, Sally Hayfron.
In 2014, Grace Mugabe was given a doctorate in sociology by the University of Zimbabwe, only two months after registering at the university and although a dissertation does not exist. The degree was widely described as fraudulent.
The Times reported on 18 January 2009 that, while on a shopping trip in Hong Kong, where her daughter Bona Mugabe is a university student, Mugabe ordered her bodyguard to assault a Times photographer Richard Jones outside her luxury hotel. She then joined in the attack, punching Jones repeatedly in the face while wearing diamond encrusted rings, causing him cuts and abrasions.She was subsequently granted immunity from prosecution ‘under Chinese diplomatic rules’ because of her status as Mugabe’s wife.
e Grace has been undermining her spouse on a mystery issue with Zimbabwean Reserve Bank senator Gideon Gono who is additionally a top friend of the president for as long as fifteen years.
The 50-year old Grace who is 41 years more youthful than Mugabe filled in as his secretary before getting into a marriage. She and Gono are allegedly said that they would meet as frequently as three times each month either at her dairy ranch or in inns in neighboring South Africa.
The disclosure as reported in the Sunday Times, said that on her deathbed, Mugabe’s more youthful sister Sabina had cautioned him that he was being double-crossed by Mr. Gono and his wife, Grace.
Mugabe, edgy to keep the most recent issue a mystery, had senior police magistrate Cain Chademana, the bodyguard at his sister’s deathbed, murdered in August in endeavors to cover the spread of the data.
The First woman has been known for cuckolding his spouse with, one previous darling, Peter Pamire, who passed on in a secretive auto collision and another, James Makamba who took a French leave from the nation.
Senator Gono, 55, is presently leaving in apprehension as it is said, ‘once he (Mugabe) hears something to that effect, I think somebody will go to meet God,’ a Zimbabwean insight authority was cited as saying.
Effortlessness and Gono have been business accomplices throughout the previous 15 years.
“Mugabe trusted Gono. He even thought our manager was dealing with the first woman, keeping a defensive eye on her so that she couldn’t again be two-timing”, said a senior authority in Gono’s office.
Mugabe’s and Grace’s relationship, in itself was established on unfaithfulness. At the point when Mugabe was hitched to previous wife Sally who passed on in 1992, Grace as of now had two youngsters in an alternate wedlock with an aviation based armed forces officer.