IT has been decsirbed as an improbable clash of two former rivals who both eyed the State Presidency and planned to outmanouvre each other – until Mnangagwa got help from the army to topple his boss Robert Mugabe.
Grace, Mugabe’s widow, had laid out plans to take a shot at the top job as her ailing husband was having trouble controlling factions eyeing his seat in 2017. But the army, backed by practically the whole nation including opposition leaders and supporters, toppled Mugabe ust two weeks after Grace had held her rally in Harare as she had one foot into the throne.
What followed was a back-and-forth relationship between Grace and Mnangagwa, with Mnangagwa even insinuating that “Dr Stop It” was behind plans to assassiante the whole Zanu PF hierarchy at a rally in Bulawayo in Juy 2018.
But this Wednesday, Mnangagwa and Grace shared a podium on foregn soil- in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), -three years after their last known interaction at late predecessor Robert Mugabe’s funeral wake in 2019.
Grace was receiving Mugabe’s posthumous honorary award from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) for pioneering the bloc alongside other founding fathers within the region at its ongoing 42nd ordinary summit.
A gallery of images shared by Mnangagwa’s office show him holding the former First Lady’s hands, with a smile on his face. Netizens were quick to notice that Grace was wearing a no-nonsense face. Many also wondered if the two travelled on the same plae to Kinshasa.
The SADC Founders include Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, King Sobhuza II of Eswatini, Seretse Khama of Botswana, António Agostinho Neto of Angola, Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Dr Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho.
The predecessor of the SADC was the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), established on 1 April 1980 in Lusaka, Zambia.
In 1989 at the SADCC Summit in Harare, members decided that SADCC should be formalised to “give it an appropriate legal status … to replace the Memorandum of Understanding with an Agreement, Charter or Treaty.”
On August 17 1992, at a Summit held in Windhoek, Namibia, the leaders signed the SADC Declaration and Treaty that effectively transformed the SADCC into the SADC, with the focus on integration of economic development.
Currently, SADC members are Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. – HourlyHits