ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa yesterday urged Zimbabweans to resist attempts to create a monarchy after President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, was nominated to take over the leadership of the Zanu PF women’s league.
Grace was endorsed by women’s league members at her 49th birthday celebrations in Mazowe, marking her formal entrance into politics and sparking debate over her husband’s succession plans.
In an interview in February to mark his birthday, Mugabe said Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa would not automatically take over if he steps aside. Dabengwa said the entrance of Grace into politics should worry Zimbabweans.
“Zimbabweans should be very worried and take a stand against this now,” the former Zanu PF politburo member said in an interview with Southern Eye.
“The question is: Are we going to accept this or are we going to stop it?
“They (Zimbabweans) should be able to ask themselves this question now and take action before they find themselves in a monarch because, then, it will be too late or difficult to stop it.”
The Zapu leader said he was surprised by Mugabe’s inaction to stop Grace from entering politics because “he has always been against monarchs”.
“It’s really surprising because from the way I know him, he has always been somebody who is against monarchs,” he said.
“He has always been against monarchs and one is therefore left wondering whether he doesn’t realise that this is tantamount to creating a monarch if he does not stop it.
He said this showed that Mugabe could be “having a hand in this (Grace’s endorsement)” because “he should be able to stop it if he is against the creation of a monarch”.
Dabengwa refused to be drawn into commenting about the posts of Zanu PF chairperson, vice-president and the Unity Accord saying he was no longer a member of the party.
Former PF Zapu members are accusing their colleagues from the original Zanu PF of trying to take the chairperson’s post ahead of the party’s congress in December.
MDC-Renewal team leader Tendai Biti also recently attacked plans to push Grace into politics saying Zimbabwe does not belong to the Mugabes.
“So they are allocating themselves positions within their family. It’s now becoming a family affair that the husband will take this position, the wife that one and soon children too. This Zimbabwe does not belong to anyone. This is our country,” Biti told supporters in Mutare.
“So in 2018, one of the battles we will be fighting is to stop dynastic politics. Zimbabwe has a lot of people and it cannot be Gushungo always.”