Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife once said the 93-year-old leader should run “as a corpse”in the 2018 elections if he dies
before the vote.
Now politically ambitious Grace Mugabe is positioning herself as a possible successor, saying one of the ruling par two vice presidents should be a woman.
Her remarks on Thursday inject extra intrigue into a succession debate that has featured fighting within the ruling ZANU-PF party and a
widespread sense of uncertainty in a country with debilitating economic problems. Grace Mugabe, who heads the ruling party’s women’s
league, has sent mixed signals, saying she has no problem becoming president but on other occasions saying she has no such ambitions.
The world’s oldest head of state, who recently returned from medical treatment in Singapore, is holding campaign rallies around the
southern African nation but has slowed down considerably in recent months as his advanced age takes a toll
The comments by the first lady, plucked by the president from his secretarial pool decades ago to become his second wife, could set the
stage for a transition.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party should restore a provision in its constitution stating that one of the party’s vice presidents should be a woman, the
52-year-old Grace Mugabe said, according to state broadcaster ZBC.
Her comments to a meeting attended by her husband also challenged him publicly for the first time to name a successor, wading into asubject that he has regarded as taboo.
Mugabe did not directly respond, though he said for the first time that the ruling party would consider appointing a third vice president.
The ruling party had scrapped the clause requiring a female vice president in 2014 when the president fired Joice Mujuru, a former ally who
was harshly criticized by Grace Mugabe, and replaced her with Emmerson Mnangagwa, the justice minister