FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe’s unrestrained entry into party politics continued yesterday as she directed her attacks at party bigwigs whom she accused of having made spirited bids to foil the holding of elections last year.
Addressing hundreds of supporters at the Gweru Zanu PF conference centre, Grace said she was shocked that less than a year after her husband’s victory in the polls, some Zanu PF leaders were talking behind closed doors of removing President Robert Mugabe from power when they feared elections.
“You see people coming to baba (Mugabe) saying they want to go and hold victory celebrations over the emphatic election victory. These are the same people who did not want these elections in the first place,” she said.
“Even if you ask (Justice minister Emmerson) Mnangagwa, people did not want these elections.”
Grace, set to assume the top post in the party’s women’s league, said while the First Family remained silent, they knew all top Zanu PF members who were busy plotting the party’s succession behind closed doors while pretending to support Mugabe in public.
“We might be quiet, but we know of the leaders who are busy bribing people so that they get votes. I want to say stop it, stop it before congress, because we have the information,” she thundered to applause from the guests.
“My husband and I might be sitting quietly at our home, but we know you and one of these days I will confront you.
“In the afternoon you come to the president and tell him that you love him and support him, but before dawn you will be calling people to meet so that you plot Mugabe’s downfall and you think that it is that easy treating an educated man like Mugabe like a child. Are you sure?”
Grace, who went for more than an hour ranting about factionalism and backbiting in the party, accused some senior members who remained unnamed of working with the MDC-T to topple her husband, but warned she was not afraid of anyone and would speak out when the time comes.
“Some of them can’t even chant slogans that denounce MDC-T because they have pacts with the opposition,” she said.
“I have quietly observed that the MDC devil is now in our party and is being spread around by people who use money to obtain power.”
As if to add a twist to the proceedings of the day, Oppah Muchinguri — the outgoing women’s league boss — introduced Grace as “Her Excellency” saying she was the panacea to factional fights which were threatening to tear Zanu PF apart.
“After looking at the factional fights in the party, the gossip and bribery for top positions — top leadership trying to run to get the president’s post hardly a year after he won the elections, we sat as leadership and saw that Amai Mugabe was the only person who could stop this,” she said.
To round up her speech, Grace — who was accompanied by Mugabe’s press secretary Regis Chikore — had no kind words for the media which she accused of reporting falsehoods on the party, but conceded that sometimes the information was supplied by Zanu PF leaders.
Hundreds of supporters were bused to Gweru from Kwekwe, Gokwe and Shurugwi in school buses commandeered by party leadership.