- Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa arranged a private jet to fly Grace Mugabe back to Harare from Singapore after her mother passed away
- Mnangagwa chartered a brand new Gulfstream jet at a cost of R5 million to ease Grace’s return to Zimbabwe
- The gesture has gone down well with the former first lady who now seems to support Mnangagwa as the rightful leader of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa arranged a luxury airlift for former first lady Grace Mugabe from Singapore to Harare after he heard about the passing of Grace’s mother on 30 August. The privately chartered flight is estimated to have cost $330 000 (R5 million).
Mnangagwa chartered a brand new Gulfstream jet at a cost of $15 000 (R225 000) per hour to ease Grace’s return to Zimbabwe and to help the former first lady avoid having to struggle with the pitfalls of commercial flights.
The gesture has gone down incredibly well with the former first lady and her husband Robert Mugabe who until recently had been opposed to Mnangagwa being president of the country.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Grace told those in attendance at her mother’s funeral that she was comforted when she boarded the luxury jet. Grace recounted how the staff informed her that she was the first passenger to set foot on the plane.
TimesLive.co.za reported that former president Robert Mugabe softened his stance on Mnangagwa and told mourners that the correct person was now running the country. Grace said she prayed for Mnangagwa because he was the president of Zimbabwe through the will of God.
The Mugabe’s latest comments about Mnangagwa stands in stark contrast to their earlier view on the president. Robert called a media conference in the days leading to Zimbabwe’s elections and roundly criticised his former deputy.
Grace was also widely credited with hatching the plan which led to Mnangagwa being fired. This eventually led to the Zimbabwean army removing her husband from power in November last year.
Meanwhile, News24.com reported that Mnangagwa’s goodwill (and financial) gestures did not end with the private flight. Grace reportedly told the Zimbabwean state newspaper that the president had offered to cover the costs of the funeral.
Grace said this proved that Mnangagwa was a human and had kindness in his heart. Grace said this had touched her heart and made her realise that Mnangagwa was the right man to lead Zimbabwe into the future.
Mnangagwa has become somewhat of a maverick when it comes to making political gestures. He paid a special visit to Morgan Tsvangirai before he died from cancer.
Opposition leaders and political analysts hailed this gesture as the start of a new era in Zimbabwean politics which placed the emphasis on working together in peace.
Others have openly wondered whether these acts of kindness when Mnangagwa’s rivals are weak are the actions of a schemer who is trying to score political points.
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