Political analyst and civil society leader Brian Kagoro has warned first lady Grace Mugabe not to run for Vice President at Zanu PF’s extraordinary congress in December. Zanu-PF has indicated that it will consider a women’s league proposal to elevate a woman into the presidium which has sparked speculation that this is meant to elevate Grace.
Kagoro advised Grace to appoint an ally saying that it would make political sense. Said Kagoro:
My own view is that — though easily doable — it would be a titanic political error for Grace Mugabe to go for the vice presidency during her husband’s tenure as president. The moral implications and optics would be abysmal. This would only serve to galvanise and deepen sentiment against the first family and Zanu PF across the party divide, generational divide and class divide. It would caricature the entire Zanu PF process, mutilate whatever remains of its liberation heritage and legacy and above all paint Grace Mugabe as a power-hungry and self-interested Machiavellian character. This too would suit the narrative by her detractors that seeks to paint her as a threat to Zanu PF’s long-term survival. I suspect that she is better advised and politically astute than be tempted onto such an irreversible and disastrous path. There is speculation that her game plan is to become vice president and ultimately president of Zimbabwe. We must distinguish between being vice president of Zimbabwe through an elective process and being appointed as such by the Zanu PF Congress. Mafirakureva (Grace) could easily bag the post of VP if she really wanted it. I suspect that politically it would be more strategic for her to allow one of her allies, a pliant, loyal and senior female — preferably with war veteran credentials — to land the VP job. Without being appointed into the presidium, Grace Mugabe already commands a lot of informal power and ‘unusual’ influence for a liberation party. The critical votes of the provincial as well as women and youth structures will determine the female vice presidency.
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