by Buhle Tshavango
The whereabouts of Zimbabwe’s first shopper appear to be sketchy as an air of uncertainty hangs about her fate after the announced house arrest of the first family. While it is reported that she has fled to Namibia with her daughter’s family to seek safe haven it is not clear whether this is factual or not.
As the castle of cards she had built in a flash with no foundation begins to disintegrate, what is certain is that her unprecedented and accelerated rise to power has been dealt a severe blow. Relatively known as the figure beside the President only but a few years ago, her sudden rise in ranks was unseen by many as much as it may have been a calculated move albeit gone too soon.
Her dramatic entry into politics was at first seen as the satirical side to Zimbabwe’s politics as whenever she took to the podium one was guaranteed of some comedy either by an offside speech where she would go on and on at much about nothing or the relentless dressing down of office bearers. Her barrage of attacks culminated in the expulsion of former VP Mujuru and when she proceeded to launch the ouster of VP Mnangagwa it is then that it suddenly dawned on many just how much power she wielded.
The continued factional fights within the ruling party coupled with her husband’s deteriorating health triggered panic as this was a threat to her lavish lifestyle jolting her into a frenzied hunger for power. In a short span of time, she was poised for power unwittingly outdoing the other cabals and opposition leaders who had been jostling for it for years.
Despite her position as the first lady she has been known to publicly display her unbridled anger and an acid tongue but has been shielded by diplomatic immunity twice while saving face on behalf of her children.
It is beyond doubt that her greed for power and disregard for elected officials have led to this not a coup but looks like a coup situation.
The first lady of Zimbabwe looks like she bit more than she can chew and her dreams of a dynasty might just have turned into a nightmare. From a women’s league leader she sought to catapult herself to the presidency but this might have just cost her, her Paris shopping sprees and almond nuts.
by Buhle Tshavango