A former ally of Robert Mugabe has slammed his wife Grace, saying members of a powerful ruling party faction loyal to the former president never considered her to be their leader.
Ex-cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo was a key member of Zanu-PF’s G40 faction vying for control of the party before Mugabe was ousted last year.
“I consider it an insult that some circles, especially in the media, refer to some leaders who worked with and supported President Mugabe as followers of Mrs Mugabe,” Moyo said in a statement quoted by the state-run Chronicle.
“Mrs Mugabe cannot be a leader simply because she’s the spouse of our iconic founding leader,” he added.
The fall-out between Moyo and Grace came after the former first lady last week heaped praise on President Emmerson Mnangagwa, after he hired a jet to bring her back from Singapore to attend her mother’s funeral, as reported by the Standard newspaper.
Mnangagwa also paid all the funeral costs for Idah Marufu. Both Grace Mugabe and the former president said during the funeral that they now accepted Mnangagwa as the legitimate head of state, and said the country should back his presidency.
“It is an absurd corruption of public morality, values and ethos for Mrs Mugabe to claim that Mnangagwa’s gesture to hire a fancy private plane to fly her from Singapore and to pay for her mother’s funeral constitutes a political paradigm for the country to move on,” Moyo charged.
Saved by the Mugabes
Before Mugabe’s downfall, there was a bruising internal power struggle between the G40 faction believed at the time to be loyal to Grace Mugabe and the Lacoste faction loyal to Mnangagwa.
Grace Mugabe led outspoken attacks against Mnangagwa, which culminated in his being sacked as vice president in early November.
It was that event that triggered the army takeover on November 15 that led to Mugabe’s resignation. Moyo fled the country after the takeover. He said later that he and his family had been rescued by Mugabe and his wife after his Harare home came under attack by soldiers, according to a report by the Daily News.