FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe yesterday rounded up her tour of Matabeleland with a rally in Bulawayo where she unleashed a stinging rebuke on the Zanu PF Bulawayo province and the five candidates vying for the vice-presidency.
Grace’s ire seemed to have been triggered by claims by Bulawayo Zanu PF chairman Callistus Ndlovu, who said there was no factionalism in the province. No sooner had he sat down than he regretted his remarks, with Grace literally calling him a liar.
“I asked if there’s factionalism in Bulawayo and Ndlovu said there isn’t. These are the worst lies ever, lies that the people do not want,” she said to applause.
“The fact that there are 100 of you that want to be the vice-president shows there is factionalism.”
She said Bulawayo had several problems and this was due to poor leadership in the province.
“Instead of focussing on the problems in the city, they are busy looking for power. The day of reckoning beckons,” she warned.
Grace, whose speech was centred on factionalism, said the leadership might claim that there are no factions in the province, but the division were evident.
“You can deny that there is factionalism, but factionalism is rampant in Bulawayo, whether you like it or not, it is evident,” the First Lady said, much to Ndlovu’s embarrassment.
She said Bulawayo leaders were preoccupied with fighting for top posts, yet they were failing to run the province.
“But here in Bulawayo, Bulawayo, Bulawayo what’s wrong with Bulawayo? We came here at White City Stadium (during 2013 election campaigns) and the leadership of the party promised the President (Robert Mugabe) that they have done their homework and will sweep all the seats,” she said.
“We left very happy. But the results amazed us. The Bulawayo leadership is not showing unity of purpose. Whether you like it or not, there is factionalism.”
Without mentioning names, Grace had no kinds for the Zanu PF leaders vying for the vice-presidency, saying the contestations were akin to donkeys at a grinding mill.
Grace, who seemed to have saved her most venomous attack for Bulawayo, said those that had declared their interest for the top post had no respect for each other.
Ministers Simon Khaya Moyo and Kembo Mohadi, Senator Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, ex-Zapu stalwart Phekezela Mphoko and former Zipra commander Ambrose Mutinhiri have shown the interest in the vice-presidency left vacant by the death of John Nkomo.
Grace charged that some of the candidates, whom she did not name, had no leadership qualities to the extent that they could not even tend to vegetable gardens in their backyards.
“If there was unity of purpose, I would not be hearing five names of people vying for a post,” she said.
“If you want a position first consult others, but those after the post are now using their current party positions to bulldoze.
“We understand that you fought during the liberation struggle, but that does not mean you have qualities for most things. Not all of us can be in leadership positions.”
Grace said her husband was a hard worker, who had sacrificed his life and that of his family for the country, yet people remained ungrateful.
She said factionalism in Zanu PF was meant to unseat Mugabe, before breaking into a song that the President should continue ruling until he grew old and was bent over.