Gucci Grace: How Mugabe’s mistress rose to power
This is not an electric royal tale of Prince Albert who falls for Queen Elizabeth, and gifts her a Kingdom. It is a story of a typist, labouring in one of the chambers of a presidential palace that was inherited from the British colonialists.
With her is an easy goal, to make ends meet but unbeknownst to young Grace, she had caught the eye of the aging president and he kept sticking around her desk for some small talk.
The young typist is yet to explore her thirst for power and uncover ambitions that would later overwhelm her ability to dream, even if it means getting a PhD in two months.
An affair that started so recklessly and unsympathetic to Mugabe’s ailing first wife led to a wedding of the century attended by 40,000 people and icons like Nelson Mandela. She was also married to Stanley Goreraza, a budding pilot with whom they had a son.
She was 31 and he 72.
“He (Robert Mugabe) came to me and started asking about my family, I looked at him as a father figure. I did not think he would at all look at me and say: ‘I like that girl.’ “I least expected that.” BBC reported.
Immediately the elevated mistress got the keys to the throne, she went rogue especially with her penchant for shopping that earned her controversial titles like “Gucci Grace” and “First shopper” due to her lavish living tendencies, a spoilt queen.
The more powerful she became, the more intolerant. She has been accused of assaulting journalists and most recently, a young model in Johannesburg, South Africa that drew so much attention and condemnation, she had to flee the country to avoid prosecution.
She joined politics as the leader of the Women league of ZANU-FP and later played an active role in ousting a former ally, then-Vice-President Joice Mujuru, in 2014 and the recent Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
These two vice presidents had the ambition of taking over the reins, an ambition which was also shared by the first lady.
However, ousting Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was a political move that will come to haunt Grace.
Grace Mugabe had envisaged herself having a firm grip on power but never at one point did she think that her husband would be ousted and “Gucci Grace” would flee to Namibia for safety.