FIRST LADY Grace Mugabe’s unrestrained attack on women who had stood up to queue for freebies while she addressed her Bulawayo rally on Wednesday was disconcerting.
A group of women stood up to queue after they got wind that freebies were about to be distributed during her rally at Amazulu Sports Club and this seemed to have touched a raw nerve.
The First Lady thundered: “Do I look like a fool when you look at me? I am not a fool!
“Why do they stand when I am speaking?. You are disorganised Bulawayo people. Why are the women getting out? Where are they going?”
She accused the women, some old enough to be her mothers, of having a “Gamatox” spirit, a reference to Zanu PF factionalism.
The president’s wife also made disparaging comments about Zanu PF’s Bulawayo provincial chairperson Calistus Ndlovu at the rally.
Ndlovu had tried to give her an update of the party’s activities in Bulawayo where in the process he claimed that there was no factionalism in Zanu PF’s Bulawayo structures.
Branding the veteran politician a liar, the First Lady refused to accept that Zanu PF was not divided in the city, saying the fact that the party performed dismally in last year’s elections showed that there were divisions.
The First Lady’s frustrations are understandable because her husband’s delays in anointing a successor have torn Zanu PF asunder, but she has to address the issues in a more dignified manner.
Zanu PF spin doctors have been scrambling to defend her after her gaffe in Gwanda where she appeared to be attacking Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
However, she continues on her confrontational path, scolding party elders with impunity.
Her approach on the ground is contrary to what her handlers want to portray as they claim she is a unifier and down to earth. The insults will not win the First Lady any supporters.