The Sunday News
Gabriel Masvora, News Editor
FORMER First Lady Grace Mugabe’s language was foul, vulgar and stinking to the heavens, a sign of immaturity in politics, veteran freedom fighter and former Cabinet Minister Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube has said.
In his autobiography titled Quiet Flows The Zambezi which was launched at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo on Friday evening, Retired Colonel Dube, a Zanu-PF Politburo member wrote that Mrs Mugabe was crude and was the reason behind the subsequent fall of the late former President Robert Mugabe.
Rtd Col Dube said Mrs Mugabe’s immaturity in politics started showing when she used unorthodox means to push former Vice-President Joice Mujuru from her post and Zanu-PF in 2014.
“She was extremely crude and vulgar. Her language was obscene and uncouth, to say the least,” writes Rtd Col Dube.
He said Mrs Mugabe, in her typical crude tirades, made accusations against former VP Mujuru some which bordered on witchcraft and prostitution.
“Some of us knew VP Mujuru to be a respectable person. All the denigration and insults she received were calculated to bring her down so that the First Lady would rise. Her language was foul, vulgar and stinking to the heavens. She solicited support from some party heavy weights,” he said.
Rtd Col Dube said Mrs Mugabe, teamed with some G40 elements such as former Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo to try to use the same tactic to push out President Emmerson Mnangagwa (then VP) in 2017.
Describing how former President Mugabe miscalculated the whole issue Rtd Col Dube said:
“It was the beginning of the end which was hastened by his over ambitions wife Amai Grace Mugabe who lacked political tact and maturity. She began a campaign to land the post of Vice-President once she had become the Secretary for the Women’s League from which she had elbowed Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.”
Rtd Col Dube said Mrs Mugabe thought she was going to use the same method although she got stuck in the political bog.
“When war erupted between the Party (Zanu-PF) and the war veterans, the writing was on the wall. Amai Mugabe made it even more legible,” he wrote.
In the book, Cde Dube also chronicles how he was part of the people who organised the booing of Mrs Mugabe during the emotive White City Stadium rally that angered the late former President Mugabe, resulting in him subsequently firing Cde Mnangagwa two days later.
“The members of the Youth League were strategically positioned to sit in the front row, very close to the leadership of the Party. That was where Amai Grace Mugabe was going to sit… Time came for the First Lady to address the crowd; she began her trademark vicious attack in particular on VP Mnangagwa who characteristically maintained his cool amid severe provocations. At that very moment the youth, in union started heckling and singing a song well known song in Bulawayo among the youthful supporters of Highlanders ‘. . . lint’ oyenzayo, siyayizonda, Lint’ oyenzayo siyayizonda’.”
Rtd Col Dube recalls seeing the late former President Mugabe being agitated and irate after the booing of his wife.
Rtd Col Dube also wrote about how he was betrayed by people whom he thought were long time friends such as Eunice Sandi-Moyo (then Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Bulawayo) and former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko.
On former VP Mphoko, Rtd Col Dube wrote: “He supported the pro-Grace Mugabe war veteran faction . . . I did what I believed was right. VP Mphoko regarded my stance as a great betrayal. He took great offence to what he perceived as failure on my part to take advice.
He said a lot of nasty things about me. In the heart of his hearts he knew I had no blemishes. Rather it was him who, when he was returning from Mozambique, was held in doubtful status by the Zapu political leadership.
When he returned, I accommodated him in my house as a brother. Then he was telling me that my political career would certainly come to an end. A long-standing friend had turned against me.” The book was published by Amagugu Publishers owned by renowned historian Mr Pathisa Nyathi.