ZAPU leader Dumiso Dabengwa has 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 while their oldest son Robert Jnr is being courted to lead the youth league.
Grace was endorsed by women’s league members at a birthday function at her farm in Mazowe a fortnight ago, 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 and her son into politics should worry Zimbabweans.
“Zimbabweans should be very worried and take a stand against this now. 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 monarchy because, then, it will be too late or difficult to stop it,” said Dabengwa.
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 has always been against monarchs and one is therefore left wondering whether he doesn’t realise that this is tantamount to creating a monarchy if he does not stop it,” Dabengwa said.
He said this showed that Mugabe could be “having a hand in this [Grace’s entry into politics]” because “he should be able to stop it if he is against the creation of a monarchy”.
Dabengwa refused to be drawn into commenting about the Zanu PF chairmanship, vice-presidency and the Unity Accord saying he was no longer a member of the party.
MDC-T 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.”