First Lady Grace Mugabe yesterday tore into Vice-President Joice Mujuru, describing her as a gossiper, demonic, jealous and divisive.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Chipadze Stadium in Bindura, Grace said she had pressed her husband President Robert Mugabe to dump Mujuru at the forthcoming December elective congress or she would do it herself.
Mujuru, who snubbed the rally in her own backyard, Grace’s ninth since she launched her political career early this month, is believed to be leading one of the Zanu PF factions fighting to succeed Mugabe, who will turn 91 in four months’ time.
Without mentioning names, Grace said she had been told that factionalism started in Mashonaland Central, Mujuru’s home province, and warned that unless the faction leader confessed to Mugabe, she would be dumped together with her “cronies”.
Listen to Grace’s speech below:
“The youths have alerted me about someone who is spearheading factionalism in this (Mashonaland Central) province and I told Baba (President Mugabe) to ‘baby-dump’ that person. I told him that if he does not dump the person, we will do it ourselves,” Grace roared.
“Even Baba (Mugabe) is also fed up with this person. I heard that the demon of factionalism started in this province and spread to other provinces. I say from today, it should end. The moment of truth is coming.”
Grace — who had taken to the podium chanting the slogan Down with Gamatox! — said time was drawing close for her to name and shame the person being referred to as Gamatox.
“The faction leader is moving around saying Mai Mugabe has money, yet the (same) person has diamond mines and has about 10% shares in almost every company. That is greed. That is corruption, yet the person goes around saying a lot of rubbish about Amai Mugabe. That is why I am saying to Baba (Mugabe), if he does not dump the person in the street to be devoured by the dogs, we will do it ourselves,” she said.
The Mujuru family has a significant shareholding in the troubled River Ranch diamond mine among many other investments in major businesses in the country.
Tension in Zanu PF has reached a tipping point as the ruling party edges close to its elective congress. Jostling for positions has been threatening to widen rifts in the party as factions tussle to control strategic positions in the race to succeed Mugabe.
Grace’s entry into the political ring in June to lead the Women’s League has complicated the succession war. She has been touring provinces addressing rallies and firing broadsides at Zanu PF provincial leaders, particularly those aligned to Mujuru.
“You can no longer deny that you are a faction leader. Enough is enough, even those men who are being used by this faction leader, we will dump them when we dump the person. Even these men are foolish for accepting to be led by a fool.”
Grace, who repeatedly reminded the audience that she was the First Lady, chided the crowd that remained passive throughout her speech. She said she was aware that they had been coached by the faction leader not to cheer her when she addressed them.
Grace also claimed that youths had been paid to boo Mugabe when he addresses the congress in December, but warned stern action would be taken against such “indiscipline”.
Referring to Mujuru, Grace said: “They all say we want Mugabe, yet you say you should support me, he is old. What if you die first?”
She queried: “You have even gone about buying newspapers to tarnish my image claiming that she says my husband’s relatives do not love me, do yours love you?”
Mujuru’s husband died in a mysterious inferno at his Beatrice farm in Mashonaland East Province in August 2011.
She accused Americans of infiltrating Zanu PF to cause regime change after failing to do so using the MDC-T.
Grace also accused Mujuru of being jealous of her business ventures and disclosed that the First Family was the single largest investor in Mashonaland Central after pouring in $20 million into her business ventures. This was despite earlier claims that Mugabe was not rich and earned very little.
Grace also sensationally claimed that a foreign female journalist, Heidi Holland, committed suicide after she cursed her for writing a book titled Dinner with Mugabe which criticised the First Family.
“There was a white lady who wrote a book castigating President Robert Mugabe, I held the book and prayed to God to deal with her if what she wrote was true. She committed suicide,” Grace said.
On why Mujuru did not attend yesterday’s rally in her home province, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo defended her absence saying: “Vice-President Joice Mujuru is a national leader and so there was no need for her to be at the rally. The First Lady‘s rallies are arrangements of an organ of the party (Women’s League) and Mujuru was away doing national duties.”
The incumbent Women’s League boss, Oppah Muchinguri, likened Grace to Cremora, a coffee creamer.
“People were now dividing the (Women’s) League and we said no, Mai Mugabe should intervene. Others had said Muchinguri has Cremora all over her body, but no, it is (Amai) Grace who has the Cremora. She moves at a supersonic speed, hey, don’t touch!”