Army boss’s statement rekindles speculation that Grace might take over from Mugabe



A British newspaper today said the statement by Zimbabwe National Army commander Lt-General Valerio Sibanda that the military has no say in succession politics could mean that President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, could take over.

Sibanda told the Sunday Mail yesterday that the military had no role at all in politics.

“We are not playing any role (in politics),” Sibanda said. “That field is for the political parties, in this particular case I guess you are talking about ZANU-PF. In ZANU-PF the military has no role to play in terms of succession politics, and that is the long and short of it.”

The Express today reported that Grace could take over power from her husband now that the military has revealed that it will have no say on who succeeds Mugabe.

The battle for Mugabe’s succession currently pits Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa who is reportedly backed by the military and Grace Mugabe who is backed by a group of younger Turks going by the name of G40.

But should Mugabe die in office, he will be succeeded by one of his deputies- Mnangagwa or Phelekezela Mphoko.

The military has previously said that it will not salute anyone who has no liberation credentials. Both Mnangagwa and Mphoko are former fighters. Grace is not.

The battle for Mugabe’s succession has been rekindled by reports of Mugabe’s ailing health and the fact that he is already old at  92 turning 93 in there months.

His party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, has, however, already endorsed him as the candidate for the presidential elections to be held in 2018.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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