HomeLocal NewsMphoko confirms Grace in charge of Zanu PF

Mphoko confirms Grace in charge of Zanu PF

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VICE-President Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday all but confirmed that First Lady Grace Mugabe was in charge of Zanu PF, as he equated her to President Robert Mugabe, while trying to defend his unenviable task of introducing a junior at rallies.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Speaking before introducing the First Lady at a Zanu PF rally at Chimhanda Secondary School in Rushinga yesterday, Mphoko said Grace must be respected as she was Mugabe’s wife.

Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko
Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko

He insinuated that she represented Mugabe and deserved the same respect as the 91-year-old leader.

Grace, on the other hand, spewed venom on the private media for questioning why a Vice-President and Zanu PF second-in-command would be tossed around to introduce her during her ongoing rallies.

“The important thing is that Vice-Presidents (Emmerson) Mnangagwa and Mphoko are in the Presidium. Amai (Grace) is the wife of His Excellency,” Mphoko said as he laboured to explain.

“The media asks why I introduce her. There are three families here which are His Excellency and his wife, VP Mnangagwa and his wife as well as VP Mphoko and his wife.”

He said no one could separate the three families.

“President Mugabe is the leader in this country and the First Lady is wife to His Excellency. Naughty people will say she is leading a faction,” Mphoko said.

“Now can I turn and say those who appointed me lead a faction yet His Excellency is the centre of power? How can the First Lady lead a faction? That is a lie because President Mugabe cannot lead a faction. He is our centre of power.”

Mphoko said those Zanu PF officials who were unhappy with such an arrangement should form their own political parties in the same manner as Dumiso Dabengwa (Zapu) and Simba Makoni (Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn) did.

Mphoko was last week forced to introduce Grace at another rally in Chimanimani.

Yesterday, he had to brave the sweltering temperatures in a queue to welcome the First lady.

Interestingly, the VP has to follow by road, while Grace travels in a Presidential helicopter that is escorted by a military plane.

Grace said journalists who were challenging the arrangement were stooping low and should go back to school to learn protocol.

“You are influenced to write things that don’t matter at all, you write rubbish,” she said in another attack on journalists.
“Why are you stooping that low? Huh! Nonsense! Journalists don’t stoop so low,” she said, adding she was open to criticism and that people wanted diverse views.

After a spirited attack on journalists mostly from private media, Grace went a step further by advising them to go for “psychiatric” examination.

Secretary for Information and Presidential spokesperson George Charamba last week also lashed out at journalists over what he called negative publicity, something that earned him heavy criticism from stakeholders who felt he wanted to muzzle media freedom.

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