HARARE - First Lady Grace Mugabe is drawing her current political clout from her husband, power which will evaporate as soon as President Robert Mugabe is gone.
Political and social commentators believe there will be a radical shift in power dynamics in the post-Mugabe era as power will naturally shift while Grace’s current boot-lickers will flock to a new centre of power which is unlikely to be the First Lady herself.
Political analyst Mcdonald Lewanika said Grace must be wary of all these praise singers and worshipers as they may soon turn out to be wolves in sheep skin.
“Grace’s power and authority is largely by dent to her proximity to Mugabe and if Mugabe is not part of the equation, Grace loses a potent power base and is likely to be discarded by those who won’t need to get to the father through her because the father will be no more, so she will be redundant — after all what use is a spirit medium when the spirit is not there?”
Media activist Tabani Moyo believes this is the politics of expedience, “the false sense of normalcy only works in as far as it serves the present day balance of power.
“Once the false sense of balance it tipped off by the exit of Mugabe from the political terrain, it’s a free for all deja’ vu.
“It’s as easy as knowing that Grace has not created a political life of her own. In the current political situation, she is serving in her borrowed robes but never mix the two, ‘they’ will stampede to grab the robes as soon as the supreme leader vacates the political space.
“In short, the day Mugabe ceases to command State levers of power, it will be dog-eat-dog — our hope is that Zimbabwe will not disintegrate in the process.”
Human rights activist Dewa Mavhinga wondered why anyone would bootlick Grace when Mugabe is gone.
“Those doing so now are doing it because they need to get close to Mugabe. After Mugabe is gone power will naturally shift and bootlickers will flock to a new centre of power which is unlikely to be Grace.”
Executive director at Centre for Natural Resource Governance, Farai Muguwu sees a radical shift after Mugabe is gone.
“They kneel against their will. We would all kneel if we were in that occult, but once the old man is gone Grace will be called to order, in fact she will call herself to order.
“If you noted what happened recently when she attacked Ngwena (Mnangagwa), she immediately corrected herself and started to “blame it on the media”. Reality is dawning already.”
Political commentator Blessing Ivan Vava said Grace is living under a borrowed time, “her presumed power will cease the moment Mugabe is out of the picture, and even the Mnangwagwas of this world would definitely deal with her, they are only doing what they are out of fear and respect of their leader otherwise Grace is a nonentity as far as the future of both Zanu PF and the country is concerned.”
Social commentator Rejoice Ngwenya could only say: “When Mugabe is gone, it will be a different ball game altogether. Grace will lose credibility and Zanu PF will create new pharaohs.”
An international media practitioner who preferred to remain anonymous said Grace’s power base is tied to her husband.
“Once that power base is eroded, or gone, she is vulnerable like any other Zanu PF card-carrying member.
“Mnangagwa will give her the respect she deserves as the former First Lady, but she won’t have influence over him. Mnangagwa is likely to protect Mugabe’s family interests — only to the extent of halting potential prosecution.”
Journalist Njabulo Ncube said if Mugabe goes, it will be a new ball game all together.
“In the event he goes without anointing a successor, the vice president who last acted as president will assume power for the next 90 days until fresh elections.
“A new centre of power will emerge and bootlicking will turn to the new contenders. Remember in Zanu PF the politics of patronage is legendary.
“Patronage is mobile, it changes at the drop of a conference vote and change in leadership — bootlicking will turn to those perceived to have chances of landing the big post.”