ZIMBABWE – The ugly battle to succeed President Robert Mugabe has taken so many twists and turns in the past decade that it is no longer amusing.
Last week Zimbabweans were treated to another raw spectacle as First Lady Grace Mugabe reacted to an alleged fresh plot to unseat her husband.
Grace gathered Zanu PF supporters in Mazowe South on Friday where she took a dig at Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of plotting to remove Mugabe from power — and to kill his son, Chatunga.
The unrestrained attack had echoes of Grace’s whirlwind tours across the country targeted at then Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who also faced similar charges of harbouring ambitions to take over from Mugabe.
Grace used hate speech and threw around several untested allegations of witchcraft, corruption and nepotism as she pushed for Mujuru’s ouster.
She appeared to be reading from the same script on Friday as she accused Mnangagwa of plotting to kill her children and of allegedly being corrupt.
Grace is yet to provide evidence of her claims against Mujuru and it is not likely that she will avail any proof of her wild claims against Mnangagwa.
However, that is beside the point.
Our major concern is that Mugabe and his acolytes seem only interested in preserving power instead of attending to a plethora of problems facing Zimbabwe today.
Mugabe, a fortnight ago, declared a state of disaster after indications that 95% of the country had received below 50% of normal rains this season, leading to massive crop failure.
The government appealed to donors to help it raise $1,5 billion to feed hungry Zimbabweans across the country amid indications that many households can no longer afford three meals a day.
Mnangagwa was last week rallying the donor community, business leaders and Zimbabwe’s diaspora to fund the appeal before the Grace avalanche struck beginning on Wednesday at a rally that was organised by his Zanu PF foes.
The willy Mugabe did not come to his beleaguered deputy’s defence as he spoke about the widening divisions in Zanu PF and many people believe this was an indication that he is the one pulling the strings in the not-so-amusing puppetry.
Besides the drought, Zimbabwe’s industry continues to shed jobs at an alarming rate and companies are closing down every day, yet Mugabe and his government seem to believe that Zanu PF factionalism is the most pressing issue in the country today.
Just as it happened in 2014, Cabinet ministers would be abandoning their offices to follow Grace on her fishing expedition as she moves to settle personal scores with Mnangagwa.
Mugabe, as usual, would pretend to be a disinterested by-stander in the whole drama, but Zimbabweans want him to be responsible enough not to let Zanu PF power games stand in the way of efforts to save this country from starvation and economic meltdown.
The president has to rein in his wife to stop the madness and resolve whatever differences he has with Mnangagwa in private for the sake of long-suffering Zimbabweans.
Zanu PF has to deliver on its 2013 election promises that include delivering 2,2 million jobs and stopping the economic carnage that has left the majority of the population wallowing in poverty.
Mugabe’s reluctance to hand over power has pegged Zimbabwe several years back, but he still has an opportunity to change the course of history by providing leadership.
Zimbabweans are just tired of these thoughtless Zanu PF power games and they need to stop.