Grace chickens out of Mugabe dinner

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe last Friday reportedly chickened out of a dinner dance meant to raise funds for President Robert Mugabe’s 92nd birthday bash set for Saturday.


Grace was supposed to be the guest of honour at the fund-raising dinner dance held at a top hotel in Harare, but reportedly withdrew under a cloud a day before the event.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi was then roped in at short notice to replace her and preside over the event.

Firts-lady-Grace-Mugabe-greets-the-crowd-as-she-arrives-at--Mutambara-Mission-yesterday-1 FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe

“She (Grace) had been billed to be guest of honour, but we were advised that she would not be coming a day before the event,” a Zanu PF insider said on condition of anonymity.

“She is said to have received intelligence that some youths planned to ambush the event and to air their grievances about what was happening in the party (Zanu PF) and the lies she is being fed by the Generation 40 (G40) group.”

Mzembi yesterday declined to be drawn into details.

“There is no need for the hype or speculation. I just received a simple letter to the effect that I should officiate at the event and nothing more,” Mzembi said.

Zanu PF Youth League secretary for information Evelyn Mpofu initially seemed to confirm that Grace was supposed to be guest of honour.

She, however, later chose to be diplomatic, saying she did not have “full details and will consult”.

“Yes, she (Grace) was, but I am actually travelling to Harare now. Let me consult first. I actually travelled from Harare on Friday and do not have full details.
I will call you back,” she said.

But Pupurai Togarepi, the Zanu PF politburo member for youths, was non-committal.

“I do not know. We were given Mzembi as the guest of honour and he represented the interests of the party,” he said.

Another Youth League official, who spoke on condition he was not identified, confirmed Grace had chickened out at the last hour.

“For some reason, she decided she was no longer coming and we were advised Mzembi was coming instead,” the source said.

“We wanted to capitalise on her power, but then the factional fights won the day. Her advisers in the G40 faction instilled fear in her. She seemed to have been told that she would be booed, which really is nonsense.”

Grace’s choice of replacement raised eyebrows among ruling party officials angling to succeed Mugabe.

“Mugabe is capable of anything and could spring a surprise. While it has become clear he is rooting for his wife, anything is possible. He could appoint someone outside his inner circle, it is still a distinct possibility,” a source said.

Mzembi is one of the few Zanu PF cadres reportedly sitting on the fence regarding the nasty internal struggles currently rocking the ruling party.

Political analyst Alexander Rusero said Grace could have pulled a masterstroke in the midst of vicious infighting.

“The choice of Mzembi could be a way of sanitising the event, which is supposed to symbolise unity at a time the party is rocked by factional fights between two groups,” he said.

Meanwhile, a handful of opposition MDC-T youths in Masvingo yesterday held a protest march in the city, demanding that Mugabe’s birthday bash be cancelled and all resources mobilised for the event channelled towards drought relief food.

The ruling party will reportedly spend at least $800 000 on the bash.

The placard-waving youths were singing and toyi-toying, denouncing Mugabe’s plans for the bash when many were wallowing in poverty and staring starvation.

Some of the placards read: “We want jobs, not bash”; “A serious government cares for its people”; and “Mugabe’s regime must fall”.

The youths marched along Robert Mugabe Road before police dispersed them.

It could not be established at the time of going to print whether police had made any arrests.

In a related development, youths from Temba Mliswa’s Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy have also threatened a similar demonstration in Masvingo on Friday.

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  1. I don’t think Dr Amai was scared of the youths as such. I think she felt it is necessary to allow the dust to settle, and to support the President’s call for unity. The choice of a neutral person, Mzembi should indicate the rationale here.

  2. We would indeed welcome that from the first lady. As mothers we must be seen to be peacemakers and not noisy makers. Children do tend to copy more from mothers than from fathers and as such we need to serve as role models. In this case its not only the first lady’s children but all Zimbabwe children for they will all want to emulate the mother of the nation.
    Take your place of a first lady and do charity work like other first ladies do.

  3. Really??? And you expect us to believe that she chickened out, after all the crap she spoke of in public? Shame on you for believing that!

  4. This is another diversionary. For so long Mzembi was touted as the best Minister and some may quick to believe his is being strategically positioned but the truth remains they want to create a monarch. I totally agree with the view that they want to allow tempers to cool even the MOZAMBIQUICAN denied ever belonging to G40.However as a people we are not that naïve to believe such lies .We know that Grace is eyeing the crown and as she confirmed she has already usurped power from her ageing husband.

  5. It was good she stayed away from the dinner otherwise she would have created another controversy. She should behave like a first lady,stay out of real politics and stick to charity work. Grace should leave politics to politicians and remain a mother of the Nation. The choice is hers. Either she joins politics or remain a First Lady. She can’t play these 2 roles at the same time.

    1. wise say, a real mother shouldnt interfere with wats not hers, shes no politician after all shes beginning to make people hate her

  6. is it first lady or first enermy, nobody really likes her.

  7. It is actually an unwritten rule that First Ladies must be for charity as the hubby sweats it out at work but mu Zim totoona sekuti kuita Charity work by the first lady is a choice, no it is a rule. So what they do like some well known churches they just do norminal chairty work and baloon it as if the whole country has benefitted. Since we have prophetess maybe we now have presidentess

  8. Really they are anticipating to spend $800 000 when people are languishing in poverty???

  9. taneta nevanhu ava.Im jus waiting for MUGABE 100yrs birthday

  10. Grace should have used the occasion to heal the woods created over the past few months.

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