First lady Grace Mugabe yesterday launched a scathing attack against a Zanu PF faction aligned to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing it of plotting against her ageing husband and persecuting some ministers through false corruption charges.
By Everson Mushava/Xolisani Ncube
Grace, speaking at a Zanu PF youth interface rally in Chinhoyi, also addressed by an equally combative President Robert Mugabe, reserved most of the venom for the 93-year-old leader’s spokesperson George Charamba.
She called a sheepish-looking Charamba to the podium before going on a tirade against Mugabe’s most trusted aide, accusing him of using the state-controlled media to target certain ministers.
He accused the wordsmith, who used to pen a column in the Herald under the Nathaniel Manheru pseudonym, of writing “useless things”.
Charamba once wrote that Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, a fierce critic of Mnangagwa’s alleged presidential ambitions, must keep away from the succession debate because the issue had long been settled.
“We came a long way together before I was what I am today,” Grace thundered at yesterday’s rally as Charamba stood shell shocked.
“I attended your wedding and am friends to some of your children, but you have never visited my projects in Mazowe.
“You spend a lot of time writing useless articles that do not bring about development.
“You are the presidential spokesperson but you want to create a wedge between me and the president.
“You should know that the president and his wife are one thing, they are inseparable.”
Grace questioned Charamba why the State media, which has become openly pro-Mnangagwa was selective in its coverage of alleged wrong doing.
“You are the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information? Why is it that there are some people who should always be written badly about? That must stop,” she ordered Charamba.
“You are always fighting with ministers. You should know that you are the permanent secretary and you are way below those ministers.”
Besides Moyo, the state media has been waging a sustained attack against Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his Youth and Indigenisation counterpart Patrick Zhuwao.
Meanwhile, Grace gave yet another strong hint that Kasukuwere who has been a target of Mnangagwa supporters since the beginning of the year, would not censured for allegedly plotting against Mugabe.
The first lady said the votes of no confidence passed on the Zanu PF commissar who is also known as Tyson were irregular.
“I don’t mean that Kasukuwere will not do anything wrong, but the procedure is for people to write their concerns and forward them to the president who appointed him to act,” she said.
“He was appointed by the president and no one has the power to remove him.
Grace said people were making malicious allegations over corruption cases that do not exit as part of the factional wars.
“They frame non-existent corruption cases against some people, that should stop,” Grace said.
Moyo accuses Mnangagwa of using been accusing Mnangagwa of using the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and other state institutions to persecute him over the alleged looting of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
Grace also repeated statements she made last Thursday that Mugabe will mark the final decision on his successor.
“Mark my words; this is what is going to happen,” she said. “The president, after serving all the years should have a say on the appointment of the person who should succeed him.”
Mnangagwa denies accusations that he has teamed up with securocrats in a bid to push Mugabe out of power.