“WHEN a president reduces country issues to a family level then the centre of power is no longer holding,” Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veteran Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general Victor Matemadanda said Thursday.
Addressing a meeting of the liberation war fighters in Harare, Matemadanda condemned what he claimed were attempts by the Mugabe family to make the leadership of the country and ruling party a family affair.
Referring to the influence of President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, Matemadanda said the country was now being run from “the bedroom and allowed to stand” without anyone challenging them.
“Once you raise that within the ruling party you are being accused of being a sell-out,” said the ZNLWVA secretary general who was expelled from the ruling Zanu PF for questioning Mugabe’s continued leadership of the party and country.
Grace Mugabe, who leads the ruling party’s women’s league, does not sit in cabinet but is believed to hold sway over her increasingly frail husband who turned 93 last month.
She is also believed to be readying to succeed her husband and has the support of a ruling party faction that includes cabinet ministers such as Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao.
Matemadanda attacked Grace and her allies, describing them as “misguided people who gate crashed into politics through family relations”.
“It all started with Zhuwao; he publicly said anyone who anyone who challenges my uncle – I will fight them,” he said.
“Whoever voted for Zhuwao’s uncle, did you ever come across a poster written vote for Zhuwao’s uncle, or a poster saying Grace’s husband?
“So why should we talk about family issues when we are taking about the state? Zimbabweans will never vote for someone’s’ uncle or for someone’s husband, but for a presidential candidate.
“But when that presidential candidate reduces country issues to a family level then the centre of power is no longer holding.”
Matemadanda laughed off claims by Grace Mugabe that even if her husband were to die, Zimbabweans would still vote for his.
“If that is the case let’s start with the late Joshua Nkomo, then the late Simon Muzenda, following the queue going backwards so that even Herbert Chitepo will have a chance to rule Zimbabwe.
“But why should we relegate our country to such levels?” said Matemadanda.