Harare – “Grace’s ex-hubby breathes fire on Mugabe”; “SHOCKER: Grace Mugabe’s bitter ex-husband speaks out”: the online headlines say it all.
Non-fans of President Robert Mugabe have been flocking to a Facebook page run by a man claiming to be Stanley Goreraza, the ex-husband of Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe.
If you’re looking for criticism of “greedy and hateful leaders” (ie: Mugabe), this is your place.
“Every nation destroyed is led into destruction by those leading it,” Goreraza posted on Thursday. “If the people of that nation suffer, then its leaders can only be merciless and cruel.”
And what about this post from last week? “You live a lie which the whole world sees, except for you, deceived by your own very self,” writes “Goreraza”, who’s obviously an angry man.
Could this really be Grace Mugabe’s ex, the man she had one child with and then left for an affair with the president more than 20 years ago? The possibility is tantalising – and it’s got a lot of people in cash-strapped, unhappy Zimbabwe hoping it’s true. “Stanley Goreraza” is now a popular search term, FB says (44 393 “talking about this” Thursday morning, apparently).
“Goreraza” counts a lot of big names among his FB friends: top lawyer Alex Magaisa is among them, so is Luke Tamborinyoka, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson. Former finance minister Tendai Biti commented on his posts in a tweet this week, exclaiming: “Wow this man has a story he is dying to tell.” Perhaps significantly, there are other Gorerazas following this profile.
But others, remembering the storm over other faceless FB characters (Baba Jukwa and his state-sponsored sidekick Amai Jukwa, anyone?) are urging caution.
Would the real Goreraza express this kind of criticism while he’s still on the government payroll? He was a commander in the Air Force of Zimbabwe (there are pics of planes on this profile but no profile pic). It’s possible, especially if he’s not in Zimbabwe at the moment. But is it likely?
Online commenters say some members of his family say he’s got nothing to do with the FB page.
Posted Gift Mawire: “Someone said to me they highly suspect the author of those posts is double edged (Higher Education Minister) Jonathan Moyo.”
For now, Zimbabweans are left lapping up these posts in the hope they might, just might, be genuine.