Zimbabwean and African Union president, Robert Mugabe (90), arrived in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon for his first state visit in 21 years to strengthen bilateral ties with South Africa.
President Zuma held secret conversation with Mugabe at the Union Buildings on Wednesday. International Relations and Co-operation Minister, MaiteNkoana-Mashabane told reporters that the two-day visit with the head of South Africa’s third biggest trading partner was intended to strengthen trade ties. “The focus is largely on the consolidation of our political and economic bilateral ties,” she said. Zimbabwean’s first couple’s visit is expected to conclude on Thursday.
April 9 th, 2015
Grace Mugabe on SA soil after rumours of poor health
Grace Mugabe stepped on SA ground on Tuesday despite ongoing rumours of poor health in recent months. Pictures of the arrival of the presidential couple at the Waterkloof Air force Base show them both smiling, holding hands and apparently in good form. Prior to the visit in SA, Grace was pictured at a meeting on Thursday in Harare. She looked relaxed while greetingZanu-PF officials.
Robert Mugabe has been training his successor before he hands over the reigns at age 99. Mugabe initially planned for his wife Grace to assume Zimbabwe’s political leadership but turned his focus to his 24-year-old daughter Bona. This decision was apparently made due to Grace’s declining health, according to reports in the Times. While Mugabe’s wife underwent medical treatment, Bona was seen with her father at different official events. Bona accompanied Mugabe on a recent trip to Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a move which triggered furious criticism among opposition parties and political leaders.
The Zimbabwean president adores his daughter and speaks about her more often than his son. Opposition political leaders and analysts find it delicate for young Bona to handle the harsh world of Zimbabwean politics and even Mugabe’s intention to turn his dictatorship into monarchy sparked criticism among many.
Grace was promoted to a senior position in the ruling ZANU-PF party last year. Grace made her first move into frontline politics by accepting the nomination for secretary of the Zanu PF Women’s League.
Speculation continues as to which Mugabe female will take over the reigns when Mugabe finally retires.
The youngest Microsoft graduate made headline news in British newspapers. Ayan Qureshi (5) poses next to his computer
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