Dongo accuses Mugabe of exploiting war veterans to prop Grace


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Former legislator and opposition leader Margaret Dongo has accused President Robert Mugabe of exploiting war veterans to prop his wife Grace who was catapulted from nowhere to lead the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Women’s League at the party congress in December. But some reports say Grace is going for the big one, the presidency of the party.  “I am failing to understand how the First Lady qualified to campaign for such a powerful position because as far as I know in ZANU-PF one has to come from the structures, beginning from the grassroots up until to the central committee and then the politburo, something which did not happen to her… War veterans who fought for the liberation of the country, whose fruits Mugabe is enjoying today, if they want to go into the central committee they are told to follow the party procedures of joining the structures from the grassroots,” Dongo told New Zimbabwe.Com. “There are a lot of women who have led the ZANU-PF Women’s League but did not get that kind of publicity, why? Just because they did not have the political power Mugabe has… There are a lot of senior members in the party who participated in the liberation struggle but are being sidelined. We have a lot of people who were injured during the liberation struggle who deserve to occupy those positions but because they do not have anyone to speak for them they will remain in the wilderness.”  Grace Mugabe is currently on a nation-wide tour and is receiving a publicity blitz even from the private media. Dongo, a war veteran, was sponsored by liberation fighters to contest the Harare South seat in 1990 but lost in the 1995 elections. She, however, contested the results and won the seat as an independent. She formed the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats in 1998 but it never made any impact. The entry of the Movement for Democratic Change into politics in 1999 marked her political demise.

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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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