Grace Mugabe says she has no ambition to become president – “I have so much already on my plate”


First Lady Grace Mugabe says she has no ambition to become Zimbabwe’s president. In fact, she says, she is not even interested in politics. “I am just there for women’s issues,” she told the Sunday Mail.

The First Lady, who turned 50 last week, said it was those who had presidential ambitions who were claiming that President Robert Mugabe was grooming his wife to take over so that they can start mudslinging.

“I  have said I am not interested in politics. I am just there for the women’s issues; I am just one of the voices,” she said. “I have never – in any way, in any place, at any time – said I would want to be the President of this country.”

“Yes, questions have been asked before and I have answered that, ‘I am also a Zimbabwean and who has a right more than Grace Mugabe?’ But I have never ever said I would want to be the President. Of course, there are people who may be talking about it out there, but I have never sent anyone to talk about it.

“As I mentioned, I am a quiet person. I don’t talk that much and I don’t talk nonsense. Even if I meet people, I am not an excitable person who just talks about politics. Of course, there are people who come to me and others make appointments to see me; others, still, have sent people to ask if I am interested.

“I have said no. I sometimes tell them: ‘You have been sent to ask me the question whether I want to become or run for the Presidency in future, or when I intend to do that.’ And I have told them in no uncertain terms that, ‘In future, don’t come and ask me that question. Tell whoever has sent you that they must keep it to themselves.’

“I don’t have the ambition to run for the Presidency.  Most of the times I keep to myself and work hard. That’s what I am precisely doing to date.  We hear a lot of things being said about us, allegations being made, that she has Presidential ambitions.

“When these people who actually think they are the ones to take over after Mugabe imagine that Mugabe’s wife has those ambitions, they actually start mudslinging. I know some detractors are writing about it; that Mugabe is grooming his wife to become the President after he retires, and it will never stop because there are people who think they are the ones to take over out there.

“And they think that if Mugabe is really grooming his wife, we must ensure we pull her down and this is what has been happening. Hence, all these stories that are being written in the newspapers; that she can’t do it and she can do it – whatever they write.

“It’s all about those people who fear they may wake up one morning with Mugabe’s wife as the President. But let me tell you something. There has been speculation out there that Mugabe’s wife is going to be a minister. Yes, I have been approached. Some people approached me, saying they wanted to go to the President and tell him that you can be appointed minister.

“But I have declined. I have said no because I have so much already on my plate. I don’t want to take up that position. I personally feel I have a lot of work to do as First Lady. I would rather that position be given to someone else. This is me. If I had really wanted, if I had been so ambitious as they say, I would have said yes, I want to be. There was nothing to stop me anyway, but I said no because I do not want to.

“I am the First Lady and I have businesses to run, and also have charity work. I would want to give time to all these things I have mentioned.”


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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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