By Farai Maguwu
Grace Mugabe has certainly matured as a politician. She knows when to strike and how to hit below the belt. Those who misread her speech as burying the hatchet with ED must think again. At the funeral of her mother (May her Dear Soul Rest in Eternal Peace) Grace Mugabe threw Emmerson Mnangagwa under the bus in the most dramatic fashion.
She unmasked ED as the undertaker of the Zimbabwean economy – a carefree ruler who runs the country impulsively and with no concern for the people he purports to love and serve.
After failing to destroy Mnangagwa by their open endorsement of Chamisa in the July 30 election, the Mugabes have changed their strategy to fake endorsement of Mnangagwa. They have adopted the Nehoreka strategy of forging a marriage with Makate whilst plotting a devastating comeback.
Make no mistake – Mugabe and his wife Grace will NEVER forgive Mnangagwa for humiliating them. Mugabe even intimated he wasn’t aware Mnangagwa wanted his job and revealed his preferred successor whilst dismissing the Lacoste PF argument that Operation Restore Legacy was meant to stop Mugabe from handing power to his wife Grace.
In Peace Studies we say when a matter is still ‘alive’ it comes out effortlessly and frequently. No amount of money can heal their pain. Back to Grace!
During her speech Grace revealed that Mnangagwa chartered her a brand new Gulfstream g650 aircraft sourced from Qatar Airways, adding that government was funding the funeral costs. She joked that if she ever gets lots of money she would love to buy such an aircraft. Grace’s remarks were well calculated.
And don’t think Grace wasn’t aware of the backlash ED would get from such reckless and off-budget spending. Its akin to a man standing up in church and confessing to having committed adultery with a married woman in that church, mentioning her by name. He can even shed tears of remorse, but that doesn’t stop the congregation from saying WOW!
Thats exactly what Grace did. She confessed Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sins of commission (abusing public funds) and omission (neglecting the cholera and typhoid pandemic) in public.
By revealing that ED had charted a brand new and expensive aircraft for her to a nation that is struggling with medieval diseases such as cholera and typhoid – where the poor are ferried to clinics in wheel burrows and donkey/ox drawn carts – Grace said to Zimbabweans ‘behold your President!). During her days as First lady, Grace was hated almost by everyone for her penchant for luxury whilst the nation was starving.
And she is saying to Zimbabweans nothing has changed! She could have simply thanked Mnangagwa ‘for the support’ he had given them and end it there but going into detail was something else.
Everyone knows Emmerson Mnangagwa didn’t pay bond notes to Qatar Airways – he paid the scarce US dollars which the ordinary Zimbabwean can’t access from the banks.
Meanwhile our senior citizens are sleeping on street pavements after failing to withdraw money from banks whilst ED is playing father Christmas to Grace and her husband Robert.
It is also a fact that this money was un-budgeted for. Mnangagwa raided RBZ in the same manner his predecessor Mugabe used to do with reckless abandon. Rules were broken, possibly money taken from Paul’s account to appease Grace. When Paul goes to the bank he will be told by the bank teller ‘we can only give you 50 bollars today or maximum of 300 bollars for the whole week.’
Or they are asked to submit an application.
This answers anyone who is over excited about the New Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube. Without fiscal discipline even if Mnangagwa gets a Finance Minister from the Moon, even if he appoints Barrack Obama as his special advisor, even if Theresa May gives him $10 billion bailout package – the result is the same – it’s a government for the government and by the government. Chinhu chavo – it’s got nothing to do with you and me.
What we learn from Mnangagwa and his predecessor Mugabe is that Zimbabwe’s economic woes are deliberate and avoidable. Mnangagwa had no obligation or mandate to spend so lavishly on a funeral of the mother of the former first lady. This was a completely private family business of the Marufus and the Mugabes. It was not by any stretch of imagination a national event that should have cost the tax payer such a fortune.