Grace Mugabe: Zimbabwe's Iron lady



Thu, 16 Nov 2017 - 02:24 GMT


Thu, 16 Nov 2017 - 02:24 GMT

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (L) speaks to his wife Grace during the funeral of his sister, Bridget in the village of Zvimba, Zimbabwe January 21 2014 -
 REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (L) speaks to his wife Grace during the funeral of his sister, Bridget in the village of Zvimba, Zimbabwe January 21 2014 - REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

CAIRO – 16 November 2017: Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe is the reason behind the high political tensions in Zimbabwe. Tensions came after Zimbabwe’s military seized power early on Wednesday from 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

She has a high-profile role in ruling the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) as the head of its women’s league, and has been instrumental in the ousting of several alternative potential successors to her husband's presidency, according to BBC.

Her husband’s party has nominated him to stand for re-election next year, but there are continuing concerns about his health after he made several medical trips abroad.
In this regard, earlier this year she memorably said that he could even win votes as a corpse. She has not denied wanting to take the helm of the country, and at a 2014 rally she said, "They say I want to be president. Why not? Am I not a Zimbabwean?" mentioned BBC.

Her main rival was Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, an ally of the army chief and a veteran of the country's struggle for independence, who was sacked on November 8 by Mugabe for showing "traits of disloyalty."

Some believe that Mugabe appeared to replace recently fired Vice President Mnangagwa. Therefore, the military intervened and seized the capital Harare and blocked off access to government offices early on Wednesday. Early life Mugabe was born in Benoni, South Africa in 1965. She moved with her family to Zimbabwe at the age of five. After taking a job as a secretary in Zimbabwe State House, Mugabe’s official residence in Harare, she began to meet President Mugabe regularly while his first wife Sally was terminally ill. They got married in 1996. President Mugabe is 41 years older than Grace.

She quickly became the most forceful businesswoman, and she was given the nickname "Gucci Grace" for her extravagant shopping trips that were negatively criticized, due to a crippling budgetary crisis, which saw many Zimbabweans in poverty.
Since Mugabe became more active in politics, she has been known for her sharp tongue and tough reputation especially in attacking political opponents to defend her husband. She has become increasingly visible in politics to succeed her husband as the next president – a succession strongly opposed by senior ranks in the military.
“I might have a small fist but when it comes to fighting I will put stones inside to enlarge it. Do not doubt my capabilities,” she once said.

In 2014, she earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Zimbabwe that was given to her just two months after enrolling at the University. She later used the doctorate as her campaign material to take over the leadership of the Zanu-PF women's wing.
It was the shortest time anybody had ever completed the course, and her final thesis does not exist anywhere in the university’s library, mentioned The Telegraph.
For years, Mugabe confirmed that her husband will never leave power. She declared, “We are going to create a special wheelchair for President Mugabe to be able to rule until he is 100 years old, because that is what we want.”

She spent years touring Zimbabwe’s provinces, making speeches, attacking her husband’s rivals and threatening them that whoever would take his place would need to get her first. During the tour, she campaigns for herself to rise to power. Consequently, she called on her husband to remove Mnangagwa last week by claiming that his supporters were planning a coup; her attempts to seize power were proven.



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