'Name your successor,' wife urges Zimbabwe's ageing Mugabe

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

His wife has previously said Mugabe could rule even from the grave.

This is the first time Mrs Mugabe has publicly urged her husband to name a successor, although she did not say whether her statements were aimed at next year's election. "If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse" in the 2018 election, she said early this year. I know the president says: "'No, no, I don't want to impose a candidate.' But I have always argued with him that you have a role, you have the right to be part of that process", Grace said at the meeting attended by reporters. Mark my words, his word will be final'.

A bill allowing President Robert Mugabe to appoint senior judges sparked outrage yesterday from Zimbabwean opposition and activists, who said it marked a new power grab by the government.

The 52-year-old Grace Mugabe, who heads the ZANU-PF women's league, has become increasingly powerful. Tell us your choice, which horse should we back. Her political power has grown and she has been headlining her own political rallies since 2014.

While she is seen as a potential successor to her husband, she has sent mixed signals on her desire for the job.

Speculation about who should lead Zanu-PF after Mugabe's death has intensified in the last three years. The First Lady and Zanu PF Secretary for Women's Affairs has challenged the President to name his successor saying this has been the trend in other countries.

Some analysts have suggested that Robert Mugabe, who visibly struggles to walk these days, could call an early election.

But on Tuesday, Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party used its two-thirds majority in parliament to ram through a bill to change the law, allowing Mugabe to exclusively appoint the senior judges.

If passed into law, the bill will give the country's President Robert Mugabe the sole responsibility to appoint the chief justice and their deputy. A Cabinet minister, Jonathan Moyo, has repeatedly tweeted that Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a close Mugabe ally since the 1970s war of liberation from white minority rule, has done so.

Mnangagwa leads one of the two factions setting themselves up to succeed Mugabe.

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