- Robert Mugabe and wife Grace Mugabe.
First lady Grace Mugabe has shocked Zimbabweans by declaring that Zanu PF will force them to vote for her husband Robert Mugabe’s corpse if he dies before the next election scheduled for 2018 because there is no one else fit to be president.
“This has not happened anywhere in the world but we will do it here, that if Mugabe dies, we will put his name on the ballot papers and force you vote for his corpse,” Grace Mugabe said at a campaign rally in Murambinda, Buhera, the home village of the main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
Grace Mugabe’s statement tallies with the dictator’s own assertion that nobody can rule Zimbabwe but him. Mugabe turned 93 Tuesday, telling a reporter from the state propaganda television station ZBC in a groggy voice that he will not retire despite widespread calls from his closest aides for him to step down.
Grace Mugabe, who has become the sickly dictator’s unofficial spokesperson has previously said that Mugabe will “rule from the grave” if he dies. Grace Mugabe is believed to be positioning herself to succeed her husband, who has been in power for 37 years in a reign of terror marked by murder of political opponents, corruption and misrule. However, she faces a tough challenge from Mugabe’s deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa who enjoys the support of the military and intelligence services as well as the ruling Zanu PF party rank and file.
Grace Mugabe’s speech in Buhera was received with indifference. At one stage she had to ask the assembled crowds why they were not applauding. Senior party members confirmed they despised the first lady because of the numerous adultery and corruption allegations levelled against her.
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