By Cde Nathaniel (Not to be confused with Nathaniel Manheru)
I filed an official and urgent application for the EU to remove Lady Grace Mugabe from the sanctions list. Why did I do it?
In July of 2002 Lady Grace was placed on the EU sanctions list. The reason given by EU MP Glenys Kinnock was,
“ Sanctions will stop Grace Mugabe going on her shopping trips in the face of catastrophic poverty blighting the people of Zimbabwe”
Clearly Grace Mugabe is way beyond shopping now. In any case the sanctions may have stopped her from shopping in the EU but she has managed to do her shopping in various other places.
The role of Grace Mugabe in the new political paradigm emerging in Zimbabwe justify the removal of sanctions against her person.
Why do I say this?
I do not particularly like Grace Mugabe. In fact, if her people were to get their hands on me, they would likely do to me what happened to Itai Dzamara. I would disappear.
However, in the interests of reducing the catastrophic poverty blighting the people of Zimbabwe, it is my humble opinion that Lady Grace Mugabe could play a crucial role in that regard. Therefore, the removal of sanctions against her person would serve to influence her attitude and behaviour and open a legitimate diplomatic channel for mediation which could result in the rehabilitation of relations between Zimbabwe and the EU.
Grace Mugabe is now a powerful political player in her own right based on the following developments.
- In 2014, she was elected head of the ZANU-PF Women’s League.
- In that same year she also became a member of the ZANU-PF Politburo, giving her aseat on the ruling party’s top decision-making body.
- In 2014 her influence resulted in the historic dismissal of vice president, Joice TeuraiRopa Mujuru
- In February 2016 her influence led to the suspension of Johannes Tomana, the thenZimbabwean attorney and the Prosecutor-General. He was ultimately dismissed in June 2017.
- Her influence resulted in the historic dismissal on 6 November 2017 of vice president and Zanu pf politburo member, E.D Mnangagwa, who has since fled to exile.
- She is set to be elected vice president of Zimbabwe at the upcoming Zanu Pf congress in December.
- She is poised to likely succeed her husband, president R. G Mugabe and she has publicly made her intentions to that effect known.
The above reasons show clearly that Lady Grace Mugabe has gone beyond the shopper who should be barred from the EU. That rationale may have worked in 2002 but it is now outdated and thats why it is prudent to reverse those sanctions against her person.
Rather, I think a policy of engagement, persuasion and rapport is ideal, in order to influence her attitude and behaviour in a manner that is beneficial to the people of Zimbabwe and the international community. Such a policy would result in a win-win situation for everyone in my humble opinion.
That is the rationale behind my application.
Therefore, it is prudent for the EU to pursue a new policy towards Grace Mugabe of persuading and encouraging her to do the right thing and the first step to show rapport is removing her person from the sanctions list.
This rationale underpins a common interest which is to see a better Zimbabwe with better EU relations.
Au revoir !
Cde Nathaniel Citizen of Zimbabwe.