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‘Grace Mugabe using borrowed power’

NOTHING must be read from First Lady Grace Mugabe’s attacks on Vice-President Joice Mujuru as she has no role in government, a constitutional expert has said.


Grace alleged that the Vice-President was corrupt, jealous, divisive and unsuitable to remain in the Presidium and must resign. Grace also said that there were many people who were capable of running the country.

Constitutional law expert and National Constitutional Assembly leader Lovemore Madhuku said people should not be discussing issues raised by Grace because she was irrelevant.

“We have no position for the First Lady in our Constitution. She has no role in government. What we know is that Grace is the wife of our President. I don’t think it will be fair to analyse VP Mujuru on those allegations,” Madhuku said.

He said for the next 10 years the VP is hired and fired by the President as he or she is not elected.

Section 99-100 of the Zimbabwe Constitution states that the Vice-President will assist the President in the discharge of his or her functions and perform any other functions including the administration of any ministry department or Act of Parliament that the President may assign to them.

The VP, according to the Constitution, is accountable collectively and inclusively to the President for performance of his or her functions. Every VP must attend Parliament.

Madhuku said the sections in the current Constitution do not apply to Mujuru although some of the clauses do apply. He said according to the Constitution, the VP clause has been suspended for 10 years.

“Mujuru was not elected by people but was appointed by the President,” Madhuku said.

Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said the allegations made by Grace have little to do with the performance of an individual but has more to do with disagreements.

“It is business welfare being fought in the political arena. Otherwise the fundamental root of the conflict is business rather than politics. It is business welfare rather than politics,” said Masunungure a professor of politics at the University of Zimbabwe.

“Grace Mugabe is using borrowed power from her husband to fight.”
Masunungure said Grace is the only one who thinks Mujuru was responsible for the problems in this country.

“If you assign blame to the VP, you should also blame the supervisor. By blaming the VP, she is also blaming her husband. As you know, the fish rots from the head and you cannot blame the tail,” Masunungure said.

He said the paralysis on government cannot be blamed on one person, as that would be a narrow analysis.

Political science lecturer Shakespeare Hamauswa said incompetence in the case of the VP, was difficult to measure.

“The problem with those allegations is that the VPs have always been ceremonial — just being there but without fundamentally doing critical policy decisions. So incompetence in the case of VPs is difficult to measure,” he said.

“It also becomes an irony because Teurai Ropa Mujuru rose through the ranks from a minister of Youth post and at one point being a governor in Mashonaland Central up to VP in 2004, a post she holds today. If she was not competent then she would have been fired years ago.”

Political analyst Alexander Rusero said the power matrix have changed in Zanu PF and women are decampaigning each other, something that has never happened since the party was formed 51 years ago.
“We have never seen that kind of thing before. What is happening in Zanu PF is personal. Never in the history of Zanu PF have we seen someone being dumped and disappointed,” he said.

Rusero said what is happening in Zanu PF was sad, a year after the party won the July 31 harmonised elections.

He said despite her negative side, people should also look at  Mujuru’s positive side, for instance, kick-starting the presidential campaign in Mashonaland East and Central in the last election resulting in that region having more Zanu PF voters.

“Unfortunately for Zanu PF, 51 years old they are, but still playing childish and medieval politics of decampaigning one another,” Rusero said.

“Vice-President calibre is not for other people to decide but it is up to the President.

“In this context, it is Mugabe who appoints and anoints,” Rusero said.

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