News / Africa

Mugabe's Wife Poised to Take Role in Zimbabwe's Ruling Party

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace wave to supporters and guests during celebrations to mark his 90th birthday, Marondera,Feb. 23,2014.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace wave to supporters and guests during celebrations to mark his 90th birthday, Marondera,Feb. 23,2014.

Zimbabwe's first lady, Lady Grace Mugabe, is set to become part of the ruling party's highest-decision making body and possibly the country’s next president.

And analysts say the move could dent the chances of Vice President Joice Mujuru succeeding 90-year-old President Robert Mugabe when his term ends.

Two out of three key organs in Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party in recent days nominated Mrs. Mugabe to lead the party's women’s section. That puts her in line to be in the party’s central committee — its highest decision-making body.

Some analysts say Mugabe asked his wife to enter politics so she can take over. His term ends in 2017, although he is eligible to run for re-election. Others believe Mugabe wants to position her as a counterweight to Mujuru or other potential rivals in the party.

Oppah Muchinguri, who has been leading the party's women's section, said she will step down in favor of the president's wife. She hopes factionalism and debate over Mugabe's successor will now become a thing of the past.

“It is not easy because mother [Mrs. Mugabe] had been saying 'I do not wanna be in politics,'” Muchingur said. “But she was asked to join it. So mother; your children say lead us.”

Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa are considered favorites to eventually take over from Mugabe, who has been Zimbabwe’s leader since 1980 when the country won its independence from Great Britain.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, who heads the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said that at minimum, Mrs. Mugabe will be significant figure in Zimbabwean politics going forward.

"This is Grace realizing that it is nearing his sunset in terms of his political career,” Ruhanya said. “Anyone who wants to take over from Mugabe must make sure that the future of the family is protected. If that person takes over from Mugabe, must make sure that Grace is found as a minister or an important figure in any future government after Mugabe."

On Friday, Mugabe addressed his party’s youth conference but mentioned nothing about retiring from politics.

On several occasions, he has attacked senior officials who talk about succession, saying that fuels factionalism within Zimbabwe’s ruling party.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: farandjustice from: hwindi
August 11, 2014 6:43 AM
I am shocked by the way Zanu pf people think. Chokwadi this isnt fun at all to bring Grace close. We cant be ruled with an office secretary, a cheat and a liar. There is nothing good and no change for Zimbabweans if these Mugabes continue to rule Zimbabwe like their own kingdom. People in Zanu should wake up and say no to this nonsense. Its high time for either Mujuru or Mnangangwa camps to tell Mugabe enough is enough. Kana vakatya ko isu hedu todii? Definately holding positions without delivering food, jobs and a better life for us is no a joke. Lets all stand up and say no to Grace and her ambitions. Because if we dont will continue to suffer and the whole world will laugh us.

by: Anonymous
August 10, 2014 5:06 AM
Africa , Zimbabwe alike would like to see women as leaders. Though she is Mugabes wife she may be the right person.

by: Tatenda from: UK
August 09, 2014 5:53 PM
President Chiwenga is delighted that she has positioned herself for consideration as our next Party Spokesperson. He will announce his final decision in due course.

by: max ajida from: pretoria South Africa
August 09, 2014 6:39 AM
Mugabe is creating his political Kingdom that will protect him from facing criminal charges. He is wise enough to detect what follows after his retirement from active politics. Zimbabweans won't make mistake to vote for her. They know that voting for her to the presidency, it'll be like re-electing retired Mugabe back onto the driving seat.
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
August 09, 2014 11:06 PM
What's the real problem here? WHAT if Grace Mugabe become a democratically elected president of Zimbabwe! You don't want her at all because she is a woman or because she is the current wife of Robert Mugabe? What's it, bro?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More