FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe attacked senior male Zanu PF leaders for jostling for the vacant vice-presidency, saying they are an embarrassment and risk dividing the party.
Grace said male politicians should desist from the culture of infighting as this shows political immaturity.
The First Lady said as a new politician, there was nothing to learn from her male colleagues. She said she preferred to start from scratch rather than learn from her feuding colleagues.
“What you are teaching us is bad. I would rather start afresh in politics,” she declared.
“When we are in Matabeleland we remember the great man the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo who was passionate about unity.
“He left the 1987 Unity Accord intact.”
At least five top Zanu PF members have declared their interest in the vacant vice-presidency, with national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo heavily tipped to land it during the Zanu PF December elective congress.
But Grace said the former Zapu leaders jostling for the top post were an embarrassment and were not setting a good example.
“That agreement (Unity Accord) made provisions for one vice-president from PF Zapu, with guidelines on who should occupy that seat,” she said.
“But now anybody who thinks they can be VP is saying I want the post and we have five men now. That is bad. That spirit might catch up in the women’s league.”
The First Lady accused those vying for the post, who include Moyo, Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, former ambassador to South Africa Phekezela Mphoko, former Zipra stalwart Ambrose Mutinhiri and senator Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, of sowing confusion within the party.
“All those vying for the post are senior politicians and what are they teaching those of us who are new in politics?” an agitated Grace charged.
“It’s causing confusion among members and it must stop.”
Grace said Nkomo could be turning in his grave due to the incessant infighting and jostling.
The contestants, she said should agree on one candidate and direct more of their energy into creating employment opportunities.
Turning to the economy, Grace called on Zimbabweans to be patient with Zanu PF, saying implementing election campaign pledges was not an overnight thing.
She said with help from “our friends the Chinese and Russians” the government was going to turn around the economy and implement the fit-all economic policy, ZimAsset, advising people against street protests which the opposition MDC-T has called for.
“The government just got the mandate to rule last year and some people are calling for street protests, what for?” she asked.
Grace said her husband President Robert Mugabe was a brave man and not a quitter, having fought for the country.
The First Lady’s speech was punctuated with chants of “down with gamatox”, an apparent reference to the party’s secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.
Mutasa infamously said Mugabe should use gamatox to rid the party of weevils that had infiltrated the party.
Grace rounds up her Matabeleland leg of rallies in Bulawayo today.