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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
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.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
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 US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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