By- On Monday, several members of the Zanu PF’s G-40 faction, including former First Lady Grace Mugabe, attended President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration.
Grace Mugabe, accompanied by her daughter Bona and Robert Mugabe Junior, was met with cheers from the crowd, indicating that the former First Family still holds a measure of public support.
Considering the circumstances surrounding her husband’s departure from the political scene, where he was “forced” to resign following the military’s intervention and the dismissal of Mnangagwa as Vice President, it was uncertain whether Grace would attend the event. Bona had previously attended Mnangagwa’s initial inauguration, while Robert had been seen at various ZANU PF rallies.
When Grace approached the podium and embraced Mnangagwa, the stadium erupted with noise, creating an impression of reconciliation and potentially signalling her endorsement of Mnangagwa as the leader of the nation in Southern Africa.
Former Vice Presidents Phelekezela Mphoko also attended the event.
Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya, a Zimbabwean academic, journalist, and political commentator, said the return of former G40 members to ZANU PF after Mugabe’s ousting reveals the political dynamics within post-ED ZANU PF. He said:
The trooping back to ZANU PF of former G40 members after the coup against Mugabe as seen at the inauguration of President Mnangagwa and some’s appearances in media spaces controlled by the government indicate post-ED ZANU PF political dynamics.
Some speculate that Grace Mugabe attended the event due to concerns that any misstep could lead to investigations into her family’s “ill-gotten” wealth. Additionally, there is an ongoing divorce case involving her daughter Bona and Simba Chikore, therefore, Mnangagwa could possibly influence the outcome. Joyce Mujuru’s attendance is seen as a move to protect her interests, as she became vulnerable after her husband’s mysterious death. Some say Phelekezela Mphoko’s presence may be an attempt to influence his son’s rape case, as Siqokoqela was convicted and sentenced for raping his 12-year-old niece but is currently out on bail pending an appeal.