FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe yesterday made a thinly veiled attack on Vice-President Joice Mujuru saying President Robert Mugabe should appoint a vice-president who works with him not one who does nothing, as Zanu PF heads to its elective December congress.
Addressing about 6 000 supporters at Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda in her sixth provincial meeting, Mugabe — without mentioning Mujuru by name — said there was no one in Zanu PF permanently guaranteed of a post in the party.
“Some think because you are vice-president you just stay there and do nothing while Mugabe works for you,” she said.
“We want a vice-president who helps the president, not just one who relies on Mugabe. We no longer want that.
We want people who are not capable.
“You mustn’t think because you have a post you are there forever. You must work for it.”
This is the first direct attack Grace has made on Mujuru, amid swirling rumours that she was working to torpedo the vice-president’s bid to succeed Mugabe (91) in four months.
On Sunday, State media reported that they were some within the party who were calling for the amendment of Zanu PF’s constitution, so Mugabe appoints his deputies, instead of the current situation where provinces vote for their preferred candidates.
Mujuru looked likely to retain her post and succeed Mugabe, but this scenario is increasingly looking unlikely due to Grace’s whirlwind entry into politics.
Grace blasted party officials for rushing to the newspapers each time the party had problems.
“I am disappointed here in Matabeleland South that we are rushing to newspapers, now we have five people vying for the post of vice-president,” she said.
“I am ashamed of you. Don’t you know the party’s code of conduct? Stop it, stop it! The president is the one who appoints the vice-president.”
Turning to her favourite theme, Grace took a swipe at unnamed senior Zanu PF officials for fanning factionalism in the party, accusing some of sponsoring youths by giving them alcohol and drugs to disrupt her meeting in Mutare.
“We have senior members in the party who are educated, but lack wisdom. How does an old man or woman buy alcohol and mbanje for youths and tell them to boo me when I am speaking? I don’t think it’s good,” she said.
“This factionalism thing is now a problem, if I could move time I would so we get to the congress because factionalism has caused madness in the party.”
Grace said the regime change agenda was now being instigated from within the party and warned Zanu PF risked being divided like the MDC.
She defended Mugabe saying he was a gift from God and did not have money or properties outside the country.
Grace, who is set to take over from Oppah Muchinguri as the secretary for women’s affairs at the Zanu PF December congress, said she would work towards assisting women in the province in gold panning and cattle ranching.
There were murmurs of discontent at the rally as Grace addressed the crowd in Shona without the aid of an interpreter, with some saying they felt left out.
Source: Southern Eye