Wild Celebrations In Zimbabwe As Mugabe Resigns

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe Tuesday, parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda told lawmakers, ending a 37-year rule defined by brutality and economic collapse.

“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation with immediate effect,” said speaker Mudenda, reading the letter.

Grace Mugabe And Other First Ladies Who Live In The Lap Of Luxury

As Robert Mugabe’s reign over Zimbabwe draws to a close, attention has turned to the role his wife — known for her extravagant spending — has played in his plunging popularity.

As Robert Mugabe’s reign over Zimbabwe draws to a close, attention has turned to the role his wife has played in his plunging popularity.

Grace Mugabe has spent the past few years positioning herself as her husband’s successor, much to the chagrin of senior leaders of Zanu-PF.

She enjoyed the support of some in the political party’s youth wing, but is deeply unpopular with the wider population, thanks in large part to her reputation for extravagant spending.

Known to many as “Gucci Grace” or Zimbabwe’s “First Shopper”, she’s believed to have spent tens of thousands of tax-payer dollars on luxury goods and shopping sprees in Paris.

But she’s not the first to make the position of first lady look lucrative.

The queen of shoes

Imelda Marcos was the wife of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who is remembered for his corruption and brutality.

As first lady, Ms Marcos was known for her opulent lifestyle, in particular her love of shoes.

When her husband was finally ousted from office in 1986, more than 2,700 pairs of shoes were found in her wardrobe, many of which are now housed in a museum in Marikina.

The family fled and lived several years in exile. But when her husband died, Ms Marcos returned to the Philippines and to politics, winning a seat in the country’s House of Representatives four times.

One of the country’s richest politicians, she reportedly maintains an extensive collection of clothing, artwork and jewellery.

She’s also believed to have stashed millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts under the name “Jane Ryan” frustrating attempts by investigators to recover the cash.

‘Desert rose’

Asma al-Assad was something of a media darling before the start of the Syrian Civil War.

Born in Britain to Syrian parents, the wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is well-educated and was described by Vogue magazine as “glamorous and chic” in a 2011 profile.

As Syria became a war zone, and her husband stood accused of committing war crimes, Asma al-Assad was reported to have spent almost half-a-million dollars on furniture.

Emails obtained by Wikileaks reportedly contained to the details of orders for five chandeliers, 11 ottomans and a rug worth just under $20,000. She’s also believed to have a penchant for Louboutin shoes.

Her Instagram account is littered with photos of her looking calm and perfectly coiffed despite the war that’s raging in Syria and the desperate conditions faced by much of the population.

Mrs Gaddafi

The second wife of Muammar Gaddafi, Safia Farkash, kept a relatively low profile while her husband made headlines for his dictatorial rule in Libya.

She’s believed to have met the dictator while she was nursing him in hospital. They soon married and had several children, enjoying a lavish lifestyle while many in the country lived in poverty.

Reports of the exact nature of her wealth have varied, particularly since the 2011 Libyan uprising and Gaddafi’s death. But persistent rumours claim she’s the owner of 20 tonnes of gold along with a personal jet.

In 2012, The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates froze her bank accounts over alleged atrocities committed by her husband.

She’s now been allowed to return to Libya with members of her family, a move that stirred discontent among the population.

Grace Mugabe PhD Scandal Forces University of Zimbabwe Exams Suspension

THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) was yesterday forced to suspend examinations mid-stream after students demonstrated demanding that vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura explain the circumstances under which First Lady Grace Mugabe obtained her doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree three years ago.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI

The institution came under intense criticism following Grace’s graduation in 2014 amid claims that the university had been coerced to award her the degree by President Robert Mugabe. The university has kept her thesis a closely-guarded secret.

The revolt by the students came just a day after the ruling Zanu PF recalled Mugabe and expelled his wife from the party.

In a notice to students, authorities said the examinations had been deferred to the period January 8 to 24, 2018.

Grace was awarded a PhD in sociology three months after enrolment in what critics said was a “jealousy” move to equal then Vice-President Joice Mujuru who was also capped at the same time with her.

Yesterday, the UZ reportedly threatened to engage the Zimbabwe Defence Forces as invigilators for the suspended examinations as students vowed that they would only resume after Mugabe has resigned as chancellor of the university.

UZ Student Representative Council (SRC) president Tawanda Vhudzijena told journalists that the institution had given them two options, to write the examinations under the watchful eye of the military or defer everything to next year.

“We met with the university administration and we have been given two options, which are to write the exams under the supervision of the military or have them deferred to next year, but our position is firm, that until President Mugabe steps down, we will not write examinations, “ Vhudzijena said.

Mugabe, in power since majority rule from Britain 37 years ago, has found his grip on power slipping away after the military took charge last week to “pacify a degenerating political situation”.

Vhudzijena applauded the military action that has left Mugabe, Grace and some of his top aides under house arrest while others have been detained in barracks.

Zimbabwe National Students’ Union secretary-general Makomborero Haruzivishe said efforts were underway to mobilise all tertiary students across the nation to march against Mugabe today.-Newsday 

Grace Mugabe PhD Scandal Forces University of Zimbabwe Exams Suspension

THE University of Zimbabwe (UZ) was yesterday forced to suspend examinations mid-stream after students demonstrated demanding that vice-chancellor Levi Nyagura explain the circumstances under which First Lady Grace Mugabe obtained her doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree three years ago.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA/TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI

The institution came under intense criticism following Grace’s graduation in 2014 amid claims that the university had been coerced to award her the degree by President Robert Mugabe. The university has kept her thesis a closely-guarded secret.

The revolt by the students came just a day after the ruling Zanu PF recalled Mugabe and expelled his wife from the party.

In a notice to students, authorities said the examinations had been deferred to the period January 8 to 24, 2018.

Grace was awarded a PhD in sociology three months after enrolment in what critics said was a “jealousy” move to equal then Vice-President Joice Mujuru who was also capped at the same time with her.

Yesterday, the UZ reportedly threatened to engage the Zimbabwe Defence Forces as invigilators for the suspended examinations as students vowed that they would only resume after Mugabe has resigned as chancellor of the university.

UZ Student Representative Council (SRC) president Tawanda Vhudzijena told journalists that the institution had given them two options, to write the examinations under the watchful eye of the military or defer everything to next year.

“We met with the university administration and we have been given two options, which are to write the exams under the supervision of the military or have them deferred to next year, but our position is firm, that until President Mugabe steps down, we will not write examinations, “ Vhudzijena said.

Mugabe, in power since majority rule from Britain 37 years ago, has found his grip on power slipping away after the military took charge last week to “pacify a degenerating political situation”.

Vhudzijena applauded the military action that has left Mugabe, Grace and some of his top aides under house arrest while others have been detained in barracks.

Zimbabwe National Students’ Union secretary-general Makomborero Haruzivishe said efforts were underway to mobilise all tertiary students across the nation to march against Mugabe today.-Newsday 

Former VP Mnangagwa Asks President Robert Mugabe to Resign

  • Mnangagwa says won’t return to nation unless he is safe
  • Parliament to resum today; lawmakers could impeach Mugabe
Emmerson MnangagwaPhotographer: Alexander Joe/AFP via Getty Images

The new leader of Zimbabwe’s ruling party asked Robert Mugabe to resign as president of the southern African nation.

“The destiny of our country is in the hands of our people and his excellency must heed the call of the people to resign,” Emmerson Mnangagwa, who left the country after Mugabe fired him as deputy president earlier this month, said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front fired Mugabe, 93, on Nov. 19 and named Mnangagwa as its new leader. Mugabe has made contact with Mnangagwa, who says he won’t return to the country “until he is satisfied of his personal security,” the new party leader said.

Mugabe triggered his own downfall by firing Mnangagwa, a move that prompted the military to intervene and place him under house arrest. The nation’s parliament is due to reconvene on Tuesday and could impeach him should he remain steadfast in his refusal to resign.

Under Mugabe’s watch, the economy has imploded, leaving 95 percent of the workforce unemployed, according to Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions estimates, and forcing as many as 3 million people into exile. His swift and legal exit will enable the military to implement its plan to install a transitional government until elections can be held, without the risk of outside intervention.

Mugabe’s decision to fire his long-time ally could have paved the way for his 52-year-old wife Grace and her supporters from a Zanu-PF faction known as the G-40 to gain control of the nation. Nicknamed “Gucci Grace” in Zimbabwe for her extravagant lifestyle, she said on Nov. 5 that she would be prepared to succeed her husband. The party has now resolved that she should be expelled from its ranks.