ZIMBABWE – Grace Mugabe claims soldiers and top Zanu-PF officials angling for power wanted to kill her youngest child, but not everyone believes her.
The official Chronicle newspaper has reported that Zimbabwe’s first lady told rally-goers in the north of the country, “Imagine it has got to a stage where they want to kill my son Bellarmine.”
“Is it fair to expect me to smile at you,” she reportedly asked in a tirade that clearly showed the ambitious former secretary is backing a faction in her husband’s party opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mrs Mugabe also claimed party officials might have killed “dozens” of orphans living in an orphanage she runs next to her dairy in Mazowe, if they hadn’t been found out by the authorities first.
But Zimbabweans were largely disbelieving on social media.
This is not the first time the first lady has accused other Zanu-PF officials of plotting against her family. In 2014 she said the then-vice president, Joice Mujuru, wanted to oust and kill Mugabe himself.
‘Smoke and mirrors’
UK-based Zimbabwean journalist, Lance Guma, tweeted: “First it was then VP Mujuru wanting to kill Pres #Mugabe. Now they tell us new VP Mnangagwa wanted to kill the son Chatunga. Smoke Mirrors.”
Another user, @ZishiriJ, wrote: “No person in their right senses [would] believe that people in Z-PF are plotting to kill Chatunga. That is madness of highest proportions.”
There is still much suspicion around claims of a plot to bomb the first lady’s dairy in Mazowe last month. One man involved in the plot has already been sentenced to nine years in jail.
Analysts believe the claims are part of Zanu-PF’s factional wars, which are becoming increasingly bitter as the president turns 92 later this month.
Bellarmine Chatunga, 19, is the youngest of three children Grace Mugabe has with Mugabe.
The others are Bona, who was married last year, and basketball player, Robert Junior, who’s believed to be studying in Dubai.
She also has a son, Russell Goreraza, from her first marriage.
“I cannot imagine Dr [Grace] becoming the next president of Zimbabwe! But it looks like this is what is going to happen,” a Chronicle reader commented on the paper’s online edition.
Mugabe says she doesn’t want to be president. But again, not everyone believes her.