The possibility of Mugabe retiring early and not to die in office is on the cards. Oppah Muchinguri has given that scenario more mileage when she was asked by journalists whether the removal of Mujuru and the appointment of an all-male “top three” at State and in the ruling party did not represent a huge setback for women’s empowerment, Muchinguri said: “Something will soon be done to deal with that.”
“I can’t reveal it here, or discuss about it, but soon you will see something being done to solve that (the absence of women in the presidium).”
Soon here means it is not going to wait until the 2018 elections; when Mugabe, assuming he is still alive and the party’s candidate in that election, can appoint new Vice Presidents and thus appoint a woman. The most likely scenario is for Mugabe to retire before the next elections.
Now that the succession issue has finally been resolved the regime will move quickly to change the constitution to bring it into line with the party’s thinking. Zanu PF would dread the prospect of Mugabe dying and facing new presidential elections in the middle of all this political upheaval cause by the purge within the party. The prospect of having to rig another election at this point will be to ask for too much even for a seasoned vote rigging party like Zanu PF and its NIKUV and Chinese partners.
Mugabe’s retirement will allow Mnangagwa to be president and the deal will be that Grace Mugabe will then become VP. The months Mugabe remain is power will help his wife take off her coat and settled down in her new position as chairperson of the party’s women’s league and bed in in her new ministerial appointment, which is expected soon. She will be given every opportunity to excel in both positions so that when her next promotion to VP comes, no eye brows will be raised!
However if Mugabe was to die in office, then the new President Mnangagwa will feel no obligation to appoint the upstart window VP; she will be lucky to be in his next cabinet. Indeed Mugabe’s death will mark the start of her meteoric political fall with an even steeper gradient than her meteoric rise of a few months ago.
Grace Mugabe will stand a better chance of holding on to political power, the Blue Roof mansion and the rest of the family’s vast looted wealth the longer she has held on to these things under President Mnangagwa. There is no doubt that whilst Mugabe is still alive, Mnangagwa will not touch her or any of the looted wealth.
The Blue Roof mansion is the most luxurious accommodation in the country and therefore should by right become Zimbabwe Presidential Mansion in the same way the White House in Washington is used to house US President. Mugabe’s claim that the mansion was built using private donations is as hollow and as Mai Mujuru’s claim that she is not corrupt. If Mugabe dies is office then the issue of Blue Roof mansion belongs to the State is as good as settled.
Unless Grace wants to be buried, politically, with her husband then Grace will know that his remaining president for life is a luxury those like her who still hope to have a life after his death can ill afford! Being life president has its appeal for both Mugabe and his wife but the best thing he can do now is allow Grace the time and space to consolidate her position and protect her as the retired president. The ruthlessness with which Mai Mujuru has been dealt with is a timely reminder to both just how vulnerable a rich window without the protection of her powerful husband can be in Zimbabwe’s murderous political landscape can be!