AGRICULTURE minister Perrance Shiri has lumped President Robert Mugabe in the same league with some of Africa’s late dictators, Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire) and Jean Bédel Bokassa of the Central African Republic (CAR), who unsuccessfully attempted to anoint their wives and mistresses as successors.
BY NUNURAI JENA
Addressing farmers at a field day in Chakari on Sunday, Shiri said Grace Mugabe could have landed the presidency had it not been for Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga who blocked the move through the military’s Operation Restore Legacy last November.
“Even dictators like Mobutu of Zaire and Bokasa (CAR) failed in their endeavor to elevate their wives to power, but Zimbabwe nearly succeeded if it was not for our guest speaker, VP Retired General Constantino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga,” he said.
“So our guest of honour said no, we can’t have such a situation because it was against the values of the liberation struggle.”
Towards the end of Mugabe’s reign last year, Grace embarked on a countrywide campaign lambasting Mnangagwa and accusing him of plotting to unseat her husband.
Mugabe then pulled the trigger and fired Mnangagwa, culminating in the military intervention, which then forced the former President to step down.
Shiri also took a swipe at self-exiled Saviour Kasukuwere and Jonathan Moyo, whom he said were misleading the ageing Mugabe to dump liberation war values.
“VP Chiwenga is not power hungry because he could have assumed power after former President was removed, but as a professional soldier, he handed over power to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who asked VP Chiwenga to stay as his deputy,” Shiri said.