The research, African First Ladies Database by a group of South African-based academics has reported that former Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe is among three powerful African first ladies who were politically ambitious.
The report confirms the widely shared view that she was using her position to interfere with the governement business.
The research, released this week by South African-based academics, Jo-Ansie van Myk and Chidochashe Nyere, names the most influential first ladies in Africa. It observed:
These were Janet Museveni, wife of Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni; Grace Mugabe, the wife of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe; and Denise Nkurunziza, wife of Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza. All have been politically ambitious and actively supported their husbands’ rule.
The report further reports how Grace used her closeness to former president Robert Mugabe to be politically connected. It reported:
Her political career spanned a mere three years (2014-2017) when she was elected as the President of the Zanu PF’s Women’s League.
This role meant that she automatically became a member of the party’s Politburo.
She was successful in gaining support for her husband’s tenure as well as her own political ambitions from religious leaders, youth and the Women’s League, traditional leaders, and minority apostolic churches. She made some noteworthy claims of support for her husband.
The study suggests that the constitution clarifies the roles of first ladies for accountability purposes.
Recently, Zimbabweans have been likening current First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa’s actions to those of Grace.
More: The Zimbabwe Mail