For the past two years, it seems as though everyone has been talking about Grace Mugabe, not least because she has been on a nationwide tour, to meet the people and distribute raincoats in the middle of a drought.
Her demeanors over the last two years have veered between two extremes; the outrageous and the stomach-turning.
When the mic is on, and people are watching her conduct tends to be dreadful.
A magnetic attraction to the headlines was proved even at the last rally. She accused the entire security establishment of attempting to kill her son, herself, and her husband; the President of the Republic.
It was a moment that sums up her reign so far; her capacity to be wrong, the probability her decisions will backfire, and her ability to alienate key players, wether past or present, whenever she opens her mouth.
Grace’s propensity to pendulum from ridiculous to baseless may have worked in dislodging Mujuru, but the longer Zanu PF allow her to speak, the worse they get.
Even when crucial evidence is not forthcoming, loyalists look for reasons to believe their leader’s claims, and that their actions will bring better days around the corner. Yet Grace has offered too few to expect anything other than further misery and insults.
Her attitude was once seen as an asset, but there can be a fine line between confidence and cockiness. Grace Mugabe vaulted it some time ago.
If the power brokers had not had their heads buried in the sand, Zanu PF would have realised and recognized rather earlier what was unfolding.
But what was stunning during the Chiweshe insults was Grace Mugabe’s needless and total loss of control. This was an unprovoked attack.
Whatever her motive, her attack raises more questions than answers.
If it is indeed true that people are plotting to kill President Robert Mugabe, why do we have to hear of such despicable plots from his wife alone, and at political rallies?
Last time i checked, treason is a serious offence in Zimbabwe, punishable by death. So, if Grace Mugabe is honest about the threat to her husband, why have the police not been alerted?
Why is Joice Mujuru still roaming free, almost two years after being accused of plotting to kill the President?
If her latest accusation is true, why has she not reported Emmerson Mnangagwa, or members of the army to the police? After all she claims to have hard evidence right?
And does Grace Mugabe expect us to believe that Mr Mugabe is a vulnerable man, at the mercy of his Vice Presidents and an army, of whom he is the commander in chief?
Should we believe that a man who has overseen immense periods of violence in our country has all of a sudden become a fearful weakling?
The same man who boasted that he had “multiple degrees in violence”, whose lieutenants boasted that “the area of violence was one he had a long and successful history in?”
Is he really the man who we must believe is running scared silly of his own Vice Presidents, and war veterans?
It is now quite clear that Grace Mugabe has a questionable relationship with the truth. Her utterances are not supported by the evidence on the ground nor the evidence she claims to have.
It is utterly incredible that a woman in her position can knowingly, and without provocation, play so fast and loose with facts.
That probably points to something fundamentally absent in her character and explains the tantrums that have characterised her political career – Integrity, a crucial currency in leadership, simply doesn’t exist in her world.
Mothers have a reputation for being unifying figures. The dishonesty of our own mother nevertheless suggest she is the exact opposite.
Professor Jonathan Moyo, has in the past dismissed Grace Mugabe’s behaviour as political banter. But it goes beyond a simple matter of teasing. Some of the things Amai Mugabe says are illogical, unfounded, upsetting, illegal, and worrying.
Why does she promise us that she will make amendments to the cabinet?
How so? Is Grace Mugabe part of the Presidency, or government? What constitutional authority will she engage to appoint and disappoint cabinet members?
When she says she is control of the country, or that members of the executive consult with her before making decisions, what does she imply? That she has orchestrated a coup d’état?
Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mundenda dismissed the first lady’s statements as a joke. Hence it was ironic that on 21 February, a few MDC-T supporters produced a meme from a pic of Grace and Robert Mugabe and circulated it on Social Media, reading “Nhasi ibirthday rangu, usatuke vanhu baby – (Today is my birthday, don’t insult anyone)”
That, sadly, is what our first lady, Grace Mugabe has become, an object of mockery. While humility and reliability do not always go hand in hand, Zimbabwe could benefit from a more unassuming, more honest person as the First Lady.
It is not all about Grace Mugabe’s inadequacy nor her faults. The pertinent issue is if Grace, the cause of some of Zimbabwe’s many problems, is the answer to them?
There is a case load of evidence to suggest she is not. It is why she must sit down and keep quiet.
- Maynard Manyowa is political and social commentator. This article appears first on his personal blog – www.maynardmanyowa.com