President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace yesterday took turns to slam Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies, accusing them of being disloyal to the party and lying that there is no factionalism in the Midlands province.
BY Stephen Chadenga/Blessed Mhlanga
Grace, who took to the stage before thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Mkoba open space, said she was not confident that Zanu PF senior officials in the province were telling the truth when they said there were no divisions in the party along factional lines.
“When the President officially opened the information centre in town [Gweru Old Post Office building] comrades [Jason] Machaya, July Moyo and others assured him that they were loyal to the party,” she said.
“When you say there is no factionalism, I hope you are telling the truth because we [First Family] have been denigrated here [Midlands province].
“I hope you are telling the truth and you can’t convince us today unless you are saying you have changed this hour and day.”
The First Lady said it was regrettable that people who fan factionalism in the Midlands province wanted Mugabe to regret ever recruiting and working with Mnangagwa as his deputy.
She quoted different biblical verses referring to her husband as the “prophet Gabriel”, who was sent to deliver sovereignty to many African nations.
Grace said her family was God-fearing and wanted peace.
She went further to subtly attack Mnangagwa, who is accused of attempting to oust Mugabe from power.
“You have to be loved by the entirety of Zimbabwe. Don’t think that if you are loved by a certain clique of people or a section of society you can be President,” the First Lady said.
“No that is not it, you can’t. This is not a job that you can just apply and get.”
Grace said Mugabe was still loved by the people and would continue ruling until he was tired and that is when a successor would be chosen.
“He is still our President as long as the people want him,” she said.
“If he is tired he has a mouth he will say I am tired and then he will ask us to choose a person who will take over,” she said.
Mugabe, who took to the podium after his wife, said there was one leader in the ruling party and anyone who was against that was free to leave the party.
He accused Mnangagwa’s followers of being misled into towing factional lines in the party warning they risked being history, as other big political figures, who were fired from the party.
“We are saying Machaya, [Midlands Zanu PF deputy chairman, Mckenzie] Ncube and July [Moyo] you have experience in the party we came from,” Mugabe said.
“Don’t be fooled to denigrate us as leaders of the party.”
He said those with different ideologies were free to leave the party because they were not different from opposition leaders such as MDC-T’s Morgan Tsvangirai.