End of an era. Grace’s voice awoke the old man. He looked around the room and it took him time to take in the presence of uniformed military officers. He smiled benignly and invited them to make themselves comfortable. But Grace would have none of it.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe sat reclined in a leather sofa cutting the pose of a man totally oblivious of what was going on around him. In the expansive living room was FL Grace, pacing up and down. Presently, she was on phone shouting at someone.
The men were ushered into the room and stood straight up with military respect, their arms at their sides. Grace glared at them and shouted: “I never said to let them in, I said he is resting.”
Her voice awoke the old man. He looked around the room and it took him time to take in the presence of uniformed military officers. He smiled benignly and invited them to make themselves comfortable. But Grace, looking at the well-polished furniture and the pristine gems in the room, would have none of it. “These are uninvited guests. They can wait in the guest wing.”
Uncle Bob: Not now, honey. Not now.
Chiwenga: Your Excellency, the First Lady, if you will excuse us, please leave the room.
An aide to Chiwenga glared at Grace and shook his head from side to side with bated intent of authority. She cowered a bit and lost her voice. Chiwenga nodded at one of the aides and two uniformed officers stepped in to evict Grace, but Mugabe still exuded some authority. He ordered them put.
Uncle Bob: That is not necessary. You’re here for me, for her, for us. We have things to say now and those things touch on her so let her be.
Grace stood, wrapped her arms around her breasts and jeered. “When this is done and settled, we shall see who will be begging for mercy.”
Chiwenga and the other generals ignored her. The military chief instead stiffened for salute, and almost immediately all his subordinates went in for one last mark of respect to the soon-to-be former head of state.
Grace: Traitors, you are the traitors! We fed you, you owe everything to me and this is how you pay me back? I won’t go down easily.
Chiwenga: Your Excellency, if you keep this up, then we shall have no alternative but to take you out.
Uncle Bob: You didn’t come here to fight. For once, I would like to ignore her tantrums and I urge you all to ignore her.
Grace glowered at the man she has been calling husband since 1996, the man she served as a secretary before then. Was he always this submissive? What has happened to the man who defied the Western imperialists for all this time? As these thoughts crossed her mind, she turned to address Uncle. He was sleeping.
Grace moved over and affectionately shook him awake. He looked around him and smiled again.
Uncle Bob: Yes, where were we again?
Grace: Just shut up, I will handle everything here. You listen.
Uncle Bob: Not today. You see that is why they call you ‘Gucci’.
Robert Mugabe laughed. The military generals smiled awkwardly. Grace seethed with rage but the generals were watching her keenly. She was handicapped.
Chiwenga: Your Excellency, we have come to…
Uncle Bob: I understand everything. Also, let her stay here. I need her to keep waking me up now and then. She is very useful for that. [laughs]. You see, she is that special anyway.
Grace: That joke, you will regret it.
Uncle Bob: Honey…
Grace: Don’t honey me, I didn’t come here to be honeyed. This is my home, my place. These men… [there was a loud explosion followed by staccato of gunfire]. Grace flinched.
Uncle Bob: You should have secured those boys, eh?
Chiwenga: Just a few stubborn ones who are failing to come to terms with what has happened.
Uncle Bob: Okay, I was saying, women. Aha, women… When in advanced age and you decide to marry someone younger, it’s good in many ways but it’s not good all the same. You can’t raise your hand, you will be called a wife beater, domestic violence, GBV and such things. When you are arguing, she has to win. Even if it means sacking the crocodile [laughs]. Where is the crocodile? Emma should be here now to hear me out.
Chiwenga: There will be time for that, Your Excellency.
Uncle Bob: And then sitting here, do you know what that seat is like? The presidency, while there, you are like a wether…
Grace: A what?
Uncle Bob: Wether… ah, guys, you don’t know wether? Castrated goats, sheep. Terrible, they can be. Helpless. That is presidency. You look at this polished room, but it is torture. Every day is like the life of a wether. It can’t even do what it wants however horny it is [laughs].
Chiwenga: Sir, I’m not sure I get you.
Uncle Bob: Well, not surprising, you only know how to roll tanks and issue military orders [laughs]. Think of it another way. Presidency is like a Thanksgiving turkey. Huge fat turkey. At the dining table like that one over there.
The turkey is laid out for dinner and then there is Grace plucking the wings here (demonstrates with his arm), and Chipanga and his youth league will be grabbing a thigh, then Mnangangwa, that crocodile, he will bite the other thigh. And as this turkey wiggles, there is that ugly man Morgan [laughs]. He grabs the buttocks and it looks juicy. As the turkey, you wiggle and try to extricate yourself but everyone wants a piece of you, they want something from you. And they want you to stay there so they can eat off you, except that Morgan will try to remove the whole turkey. You can fart in his face but he will not leave [laughs].
So Chiwenga, that is presidency. Anyway, about Grace…
Chiwenga: No one will be harmed, I can guarantee that.
Uncle Bob: Fine, fine. You are true gentlemen. Let’s get Gucci out of here before the people turn their ire on her.