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    Monday, 17 September 2018

    Out of office out of mind for Mugabe


    Robert Mugabe and wife Grace Mugabe

    Zanu PF shuns Marufu funeral

    MIRIAM MANGWAYA
    CHIVHU BUREAU

    CHIKOMBA – President Mugabe met his second Judas Iscariot moment after the November 2017 coup when none of his ardent lieutenants including his party Zanu PF attended his mother-in-law's burial at Ndwere Village in Chikomba on Saturday.
    The Government was not even represented at the funeral.
    Just one former Cabinet Minister, Mike Bimha who is Grace Mugabe's cousin attended Mbuya Ida Marufu's burial. The only senior civil servant present was Joey Bimha, the permanent secretary for Home Affairs.
    Some 12 months ago, the same funeral would have been attended by all the who is who in Zimbabwe including all Zanu PF structures. Mbuya Marufu is former First Lady Grace Mugabe's mother.
    Political commentator and lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe Eldred Masunungure said the Mugabes are now periferal players in politics and those who attended are relatives who did it out of moral obligation. ''Out of office, out of mind. ZANU PF politicians felt that there was nothing to gain by being at the burial since the Mugabes are now out of office.''
    Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said he had no knowledge.
    The absence of party comrades was so shrill that even Michael Mushure, the councillor of Ward 16 where Mbuya Marufu was buried was not at the funeral as his name was called three times without response.
    All local party structures were also not present.
    Mbuya Marufu's burial was in stark contrast to many other funerals for Grace Mugabe's relatives held in Chikomba when she was still First Lady. All heads of Government departments would be present and money would be splashed on food and drinks at the funerals.
    Although President Mnangagwa sent a 'moving' condolence message to his former boss, he never appeared at the funeral in person. Mnangagwa was actually attending a thank you rally in his home area in Dambudzo Village on Mbuya Marufu's burial day.
    Grace's relatives also appeared to snub the former First Lady as none of them would come forward to carry the coffin to Nyaradzo Life Assurance Company hearse vehicle for burial. The master of ceremony had to plead with hired Church singers to carry the coffin.
    "It's so surprising that no Zanu PF or Government representative attended the funeral. Does it mean that Bimha or even the former first family no longer have friends or sympathisers within the party?" quizzed a local Zanu PF supporter.
    Grace Mugabe however thanked Mnangagwa for assisting her family with a hired plane that brought the former First lady from Singapore to Zimbabwe to attend the funeral.
    The funeral was also attended by hundreds of locals, friends and relatives from different parts of the country.
    Also in attendance were Chiefs Mutekedza, Chivese and Kareya.

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