‘Spouses should not exploit partners’ political standing’ – Muchinguri savages Grace Mugabe

Face Off: Oppah Muchinguri, the late Amos Midzi and Grace Mugabe

Zanu-PF Secretary for Transport and Welfare Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said former First Lady Grace Mugabe dented her husband Robert Mugabe’s legacy.

Addressing a provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) meeting at Mutare Polytechnic yesterday, Muchinguri-Kashiri, said: “By allowing his wife to have an active role in politics, Mugabe plotted his own down- fall.

According to State media Muchinguri-Kashiri added: “I think it was a lesson to all that we should not allow our spouses to dictate the pace in politics. It is a shame that some churches were allowed to be used to preach the hate gospel at their gatherings. A person with a degree will not act that way.”

On why she had relinquished her post as the Secretary for Women Affairs to Mrs Mugabe, Muchinguri-Kashiri said she had been pressured to do so by a lot of people.

“Some people are asking why I relinquished my position to Grace Mugabe in the first place, but I want the truth to be known now,” she said. “I received so many visitors in 2013 ahead of our last Congress asking me to consider relinquishing my post for Mrs Mugabe. Some of them literally knelt before me.

“After serious consideration, I relinquished the post because the pressure was just too much and little did we know that we were creating problems for the party. This was a well-orchestrated move by the G40 because they knew that if Grace Mugabe becomes part of their cabal, it was easy to deal with Mugabe because of his advanced age.”

Muchinguri-Kashiri called for restraint among party cadres.

“I know some of you were persecuted by the G40 cabal, but we should all show maturity and move forward,” she said. “Yes, we know that some people were fired from their positions on factional lines.

“As we move forward, we should correct these anomalies, but we should not fire people from the party. We do not want indiscipline in Zanu-PF. As we restructure, we should never allow nepotism. Positions should be given on merit.

“We should look for serious people to occupy key positions, not what we were witnessing being done by the G40 people. At one time I asked myself if we had seriously run out of leaders in Manicaland, especially the Women’s League. People like Mai Undenge are known for their MDC links in Bulawayo, but you were now saying they should lead you.

“You should not allow yourself to be used by people without any track record. Some of the money that was being splashed around was obtained corruptly and we will move to address that.”