PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has been accused of clandestinely setting up a Mugabe dynasty following the appointment of his daughter, Bona Mugabe-Chikore, to the Censorship Board, with opposition activists saying yesterday the veteran ruler was trying to protect his interests by okaying such an assignment.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
The activists argued Bona’s appointment was the first step towards preparing her for a bigger political office and it raised a stink, as it came after the equally contentious appointment of her husband to head Air Zimbabwe.
“This is State capture by the Mugabe dynasty. Bona is slowly being manoeuvred for a State position and office,” MDC-T spokesman, Obert Gutu said.
“If you look at roles, she has lately been playing during government functions and events, she is positioning herself to be a top civil servant in Mugabe’s office. This is illegal.”
Eyebrows were raised when Mugabe, two years ago, included his daughter on a government trip to Japan, where she was allowed to sit by his side during an official meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“Mugabe does not trust anyone other than his family and he is slowly grooming them for leadership posts,” Gutu continued.
“Basically, he is copying from his role model, the North Korean dynasty, and this ought to be rejected by all right-thinking Zimbabweans.”
More recently, during a State banquet for Lesotho King Letsie III, Bona occupied a top table seat close to Mugabe — a feature Gutu said was undiplomatic and improper for such events.
Although Grace does not occupy any government post, she is reportedly a key figure in making certain government decisions.
Grace has in the past used State machinery to campaign for Zanu PF through rallies, where she has been talking about government policies.
Jacob Ngarivhume of Transform Zimbabwe said Mugabe had personalised Zimbabwe and created jobs for his close relatives, leaving multitudes to suffer.
“This is the most unfortunate thing that has happened to Zimbabwe. A few years ago Mugabe promised the nation 2,2 million jobs, but what we know since then is that people have been losing jobs,” Ngarivhume said.
“Of course, the only job he created is the position for his son-in-law at Air Zimbabwe and he is now appointing his daughter to be a board member of the Censorship Board. That is outrageous, that is disgraceful, that clearly is not what the people of Zimbabwe fought for.
“You don’t empower only one family, a family that is monopolising the nation. If you look at the mess Mrs Mugabe has created, even in their Zanu PF party, that is completely unacceptable and shows that his intentions for Zimbabwe are not good.”
Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo on Tuesday announced Bona’s appointment to the Censorship Board, a government arm that regulates the entertainment industry.
“She is a Zimbabwean like you and I and there is nothing wrong with her appointment,” Chombo said.
“Who do you want appointed? She has the same right of being a Zimbabwean like any other person you may think of, so this is nothing.”
Besides Bona, other notable Mugabe close relatives appointed to key government positions include his nephew, Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao, Chikore (Air Zimbabwe chief operating officer), Zimbabwe National Roads Administration board chairperson, Albert Mugabe and Mines minister Walter Chidakwa, among others.