Home » Governance » I’m in Charge, Not Grace, Says Mugabe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has insisted that he is still in charge, dismissing media speculation that his increasingly powerful wife was now running both the government and the ruling Zanu PF party.

First Lady Grace Mugabe took over as head of Zanu PF’s women’s league after publicly disgracing former vice president Joice Mujuru who was eventually fired from government and deposed as the second in command in the ruling.

During Zanu PF’s congress in December, Grace passed a note to Mugabe telling him to zip it as the ageing leader rumbled on with his official address.

Collecting his papers before obediently sitting down, Mugabe told the gathered delegates that his wife treated him the same way at home.

Grace then took a seat next to her 91-year-old husband at the top table during a recent politburo meeting, prompting speculation that Mugabe was gradually handing over to her as he struggles with old age and reported poor health.

But in an interview with state television to mark his birthday, the veteran leader insisted that he was still the President.

Said Mugabe: “Why should they (media) think that because of what she has done she is now the power?

“She is not the power behind my throne she has not come yet into the real part of things. She has just attended one Politburo meeting, which she did not attend fully because she is not yet g.”

Mugabe denied foisting his wife on the ruling party saying: “She has come into politics in her own right.

“She has just appeared on behalf of the women and the women asked her to go around addressing people and she agreed and went round, that’s all she did.

“I have never sanctioned anyone, even my sisters, I used to tell them if you want politics musati matumwa neni (don’t say I sent you).

“She (Grace) came to me and said women want me to lead them and I said it’s up to you.

“But because of the dynamism with which she came out, it started giving people ideas with some saying she is now the power behind the party, she is now running what the President is doing.

“But we have the machinery of the party, we discuss, we decide and now that we have two vice presidents we share ideas.”

Mugabe admitted that Zanu PF ignored a party constitutional provision which requires that one of the vice presidents should be a woman.

After Mujuru was ousted, Mugabe chose Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as his deputies.

But the veteran leader said the constitution had not been amended to change the provision relating to a woman deputy.

“I don’t think we have removed it (constitutional clause on women being vice president), but we have just ignored it,” President Mugabe said.

“We have appointed vice presidents and we have not appointed a woman because we want to rein in the situation, but it doesn’t mean in the future there will be no woman.”

Source : New Zimbabwe