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Friday, November 17, 2017

Sociopath alert: Grace Mugabe

An article in yesterday's NY Post highlighted the behavior of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace.

At first glance, it might seem difficult to tease out what is truly sociopathic when such behavior might be hard to distinguish from the difficult situation in Zimbabwe. But Grace Mugabe's behavior illustrates so many different facets of sociopathy that it's impossible not to come to the conclusion that she is one.

A few excerpts from the article, in italics, with my comments in between:

Meet the woman whose insatiable appetite for power set in motion Zimbabwe’s ongoing military coup: First Lady Grace Mugabe.

[Both "insatiable" and "appetite for power" are, at the least, yellow flags for sociopathy. Combine the two, and they become a red flag.]

The 52-year-old shopaholic, who has earned the nickname “Gucci Grace” thanks to her taste for designer clothes, allegedly convinced her hubby — dictator “President” Robert Mugabe — to sack his heir apparent, ushering in a military backlash that left the 93-year-old despot under house arrest while she high-tailed it out of the African country to parts unknown. 

[A "shopaholic" is one with no restraints on self-indulgence, a sociopathic specialty -- especially when spending ill-gotten gains. And note that when her husband got into trouble, Grace didn't have the loyalty to stick around.]

“I say to Mr. Mugabe, you should . . . leave me to take over your post,” the silver-tongued Grace said in a church meeting, according to the The Globe and Mail. “Have no fear. If you want to give me the job, give it to me freely.”

Then, she gave him the not-so-subtle instruction to ax his vice-president and right-hand man of 40 years, Emmerson “Crocodile” Mnangagwa — so-named because the beast is his clan’s totem and because his erstwhile political resilience has been likened to the leathery reptile’s skin.

“The snake must be hit on the head,” Grace hissed, referring to Mnangagwa.

[Sociopaths always project their own character traits onto others.]

Within a few days, Robert delivered a proverbial crocodile-skin handbag to spendthrift Grace by ousting longtime ally Mnangagwa. The plot cleared the runway for his fashionista wife’s ascent to leader — until the military intervened Tuesday.

Grace’s tale is equal parts Imelda Marcos and Lady MacBeth, a profligate first lady who has incurred a struggling nation’s ire while manipulating her powerful husband.

[Good comparisons: Imelda Marcos was at the very least an extremely narcissistic personality, and possibly a sociopath, and Lady MacBeth, while fictional, is often cited as the ultimate exemplar of devious manipulativeness.]

The South African native’s rise began in the early 1990s, when she was a single mother and secretary in Robert’s typing pool.

“He just started talking to me, asking me about my life. ‘Were you married before?’ Things like that,” she told South African journalist Dali Tambo in 2013. “I didn’t know it was leading somewhere. I was quite a shy person, very shy.” Robert’s wife at the time, Sally Hayfron, was still dying of kidney failure when the president first bedded Grace — who is 41 years his junior — even though it “appeared to some as cruel,” he said.

[No one who was ever shy demands to be named President of her country. The fact that she felt obliged to misrepresent her own character like that in an effort to disguise her own sociopathy is typical of sociopaths.]

“She happened to be one of the nearest and she was a divorcee herself. And so it was,” he told Tambo in the same interview.

In the years since, she has insinuated herself deeper and deeper into politics, executing by 2016 what critic and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called a “palace coup.”

[Palace intrigues are another sociopathic specialty.]

Now she is considered next in line for the presidency, a position military allies of Mnangagwa found so detestable that they took the nation’s capital Harare by force this week days and imprisoned Robert in his own home. Critics fear her inauguration would only accelerate decades of mismanagement by her husband....

[I]n the three decades since [Mugabe gained power], he has raided his country’s resources, leaving most of his fellow countrymen near starvation while he and his family live in opulence....

Meanwhile, the flamboyant first lady allegedly blew $120,000 on a 2002 shopping junket to Paris that got her banned from entering the US and EU member states as punishment for wastrel spending while Zimbabweans back home went hungry.

[That much money could have fed a lot of Zimbabweans for a long time, a fact which didn't seem to bother Grace.]

Aside from her exceedingly pricey tastes, she is notorious for her shrewdness and outsize intensity.

["Shrewdness" is characteristic of sociopaths: they are forever scheming for self-advancement. And "outsize intensity" is another way of saying "without scruple or inhibition."]

In October, she had to publicly deny trying to poison rival Mnangagwa after his claims that an August bout of food poisoning was actually the result of an assassination attempt...

[Who knows whether Mnangagwa's claims are true; but if they are, it would not be surprising.]

Grace allegedly savaged South African model Gabriella Engels with an electrical cord in August after she found the hottie partying with her Robert-sired sons, Robert Jr. and Chatunga, in a Johannesburg hotel. “She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over,” Engels said at the time. “I had no idea what was going on . . . I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away.”

Photos showed a gash on Engels’ head that required 14 stitches and bruises on her thigh. Grace, who claimed the “intoxicated and unhinged” stunner lunged at her with a knife, never faced charges because South African officials granted her diplomatic immunity.

[What incentive did Grace have for attacking Engels? Grace is a good-looking woman, but most would consider Engels more so; was she jealous of Engels for that reason? Was she simply jealous that Engels was having fun? Did she just think that Engels wasn't good enough for her sons? Or did she suspect Engels was, as she herself had been, a scheming vixen hoping to glom on to some of the Mugabe power and riches?]

Robert reportedly lobbied South African President Jacob Zuma to have the situation “solved amicably,” though Zuma denied any role in the proceedings.

Back in 2009, Grace reportedly chased down British photographer Richard Jones and pummeled him in the face while her bodyguards held his arms behind his back — all because he tried to take a picture of her outside a Hong Kong hotel.

[Again, the lack of self-restraint and viciousness.]

Her blood feud with Mnangagwa goes back at least to 2014, when she signaled her entry into politics by taking over the women’s league in the ruling ZANU-PF political party where they were both members.

At the same time, she raised eyebrows by announcing she had obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe after just three months of enrollment there in what became a national joke.

[Embroidering on one's academic credentials is a common theme with sociopaths.]

“I feel sorry for the University of Zimbabwe dragging its name into the mud and trashing its credibility as a place of excellence,” quipped longtime party member Simba Makoni, according to South Africa’s Independent Online news outlet.

Grace’s thesis was never made publicly available.

The striking thing about Grace Mugabe's sociopathy is how, despite the fact that she's from a completely different culture, it takes so many similar avenues. The lack of self restraint, the unbridled spending, the lust for power, the ability to ingratiate herself and seduce a powerful sponsor, the jealousy, the viciousness, the complete lack of inhibition, the academic fakery.

Cultures vary, but sociopathy is a constant.  


Anonymous said...

She sounds like a nightmare, a very selfish, evil woman.

- Susan

Alicia W. said...

She sounds like something, to say the very least. Your average, garden variety sociopath is bad enough. This woman sounds terrifying to be around.

John Craig said...

Alicie W. --
The scariest thing is a sociopath with official power, especially when that's absolute power. Robert Mugabe has had close to that for the past few decades in Zimbabwe, and by extension, so has his wife. She can attack people or even poison people without fear of retribution.

There are a lot of sociopaths around who, if they had more power, would be a lot scarier than they are.

Anonymous said...

Is there a link between sociopathy and good-looking women who marry rich men that are decades older?

- Gethin

Anonymous said...

"Don't drink at all, don't smoke, you must exercise and eat vegetables and fruit."
-Robert Mugabe

He is now 93. This is not pure luck. For a dictator, he is austere when compared to fat bastards like Kim or Amin.

His good health has been inversely proportional to the country's. He is quite an intelligent African villain (I'm implying relative to other African rulers who have been madmen like Amin or halfwits like Bokassa, since what happened to his countries economy is not intelligent).

Maybe he lives a healthy lifestyle on purpose to prolong his control, he could indulge himself to his black heart's desire, but his lust for power over a nation outweighs desire for creature comforts. He's turned down caviar, champagne, kobe beef, cuban cigars to ensure his other appetite is fed.

And a shame is this quote is said by someone so vile.

I imagine this as a TV skit:

Dad: I am living a healthy lifestyle and making good choices, my check up confirmed i'm in great shape! You shouldn't be smoking, drinking, and stuffing your face son, because I am concerned about you.

Son: You know who else does all that? Mugabe! That make's you just like him!

(Canned laughter)

Dad: You like to eat chocolate and sugar right?

Son: Yes

Dad: Well so did Hitler! He put tablespoons sugar in his wine and had expensive chocolate every night by the bar! (This is true)

Son: I guess this is a stupid logical fallacy, maybe I'll use another one, Jean Calmette, Guiness record breaker for longest lived person smoked since a teenager and ate bars of chocolate up until her death at 122. (Which is true)

(Canned laughter)

Dad: Where did I go wrong! A son that uses fallacies on top of being a glutton! And I am his father, I could just ground him and take away his cigarettes, candy, and booze, it's illegal for him to drink at such an age anyway! I'm talking to his mother. Wife!

Mother: Yes?

Dad: Our son is a glutton and smokes and drinks, we should do something about this, you shouldn't let him do that!

Mother: Well you are letting him do it too!

Dad: A classic "Tu quoque"! He doesn't just get this from me either!

(Canned laughter)

Well looks like I got off track, but I just addmited it so it's okay? Does that mean I can be as much a bastard I want but just say "At least I admit it!" everytime someone calls it out on me? I don't like it when people resort to that either. That's a fallacy without a name yet. (does it have a name?)

Where was I? Robert's wife being a sociopath...normally it would conflict with the fact sociopaths hardly get along and compete.

I always imagined more that while Hillary was a sociopath, Bill is a maligner unlike what you said about him being a sociopath since it's hard to imagine them working together if both were, also Hillary seems to have more control over the relationship and has abused Bill, so he has some capability of being vulnerable. Or one is more intelligent and outsociopaths the other enough (is that possible?). I would vote for Hillary being the worse any day no matter what situation it is. What's scary is in the US, these people were elected democratically, and even if you did not vote for them, we let them get elected, we didn't tell people the truth plain and simply of who these people are soon enough. We are more culpable than the people living under Mugabe or Kim.


Anonymous said...

Correction, I meant malignant not maligner, a malignant to me is a type of narcissist who is literally malignant, but is not qualified to be a sociopath. Of course they can be maligners.


John Craig said...

Gethin --
I think definitely so. Gold-diggers are more likely to be sociopaths, and sociopaths are more likely to have the plastic surgery that can help them become better-looking, too.

John Craig said...

Ga --
I hadn't realized Robert Mugabe was a health nut, but that would certainly help explain his longevity. In fact in the recent pictures I've seen of him, my reaction has been, wow, he looks healthy for 93, almost as if he could still do that wife of his.

You're right that it's rare that sociopaths get married to each other, usually a sociopath is wise to the other's tricks and there's a big eruption when two of them get together. But they were more like partners in crime. And there's no doubt about Bill Clinton's character, he's a classic textbook sociopath. His outward manner is milder than his wife's, but his constant fakery, his emotional falseness, his lack of inhibition, the history of rape, the family background, all can add up to only one thing.

Anonymous said...

You can disagree with me, but despite what Bill did, Hilary is a bigger sociopath to me, she has affected more lives than Bill. And had she been male, I wouldn't be surprised if she would be a bigger worse rapist.


John Craig said...

Ga --
A sociopath is a sociopath, they're all at the extreme end of the narcissistic spectrum, all in the same conscience-less place.

Anonymous said...

All sociopaths are _ssholes, in my opinion. I haven't met one yet who isn't one.

- Susan