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Grace Mugabe, the vanquisher of Robert, named 2017 Daily Maverick African Person of the Year

In ousting Mnangagwa, Grace consulted the same playbook she'd used to get rid of his predecessor, Joice Mujuru, in 2014: hints and light jibes that over the months turned to outright public condemnation and claims of witchcraft, scoring Grace a position as head of Zanu-PF's women's league – and a seat at the table of the party's all-powerful politburo.

The day before Mnangagwa was sacked – the day after his supporters had publicly booed her – the First Lady brought her year-long campaign against him to a crescendo, telling a rally of thousands that he had been plotting a coup for decades. An accusation that would have seemed just her brand of crass political opportunism had Mnangagwa not gone and done exactly that a week later.

The fall, when it finally came, was stunning.

Thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets in a historic celebration.

But the party that had always remained fiercely loyal to Mugabe did so even as he fell. On carpets. Down stairs. From power. His sins – the destruction of an economy, the fixing of elections, the abduction and torture of dissidents, the crushing of uprisings – were seemingly forgotten behind the glare of Grace's enormous ambition.

“Grace, a mad woman with no brains, was in charge of the country on behalf of her cohorts,” said war veterans' leader Chris Mutsvangwa.

“She lacked grooming and true motherhood… it is unfortunate that the president allowed her to usurp executive authority from him thereby destroying both the party and government,” said the turncoat youth league.

“One can only speculate how the legacy of Comrade Robert Mugabe might have ended had his wife not exhibited and indulged her political ambitions in such a crude fashion,” lamented the treacherous state media.

Gone was First Lady Dr Grace.

Gone was Amai Mugabe, Mother of the Nation.

In her place: Lady Grace Macbeth, standing in the middle of a hotel room with a fistful of too-much power, wreaking havoc.

By Kristen van Schie- The Daily Maverick

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