Zvamaida Murwira in MBERENGWA and Tendai Mugabe in HARARE
First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe yesterday took a swipe at some elements within and outside Zanu-PF that are desperately seeking to pit her against Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, saying she had great respect for the Vice President and had a lot to learn from him.
Speaking barely 24 hours after stating categorically clear that she harboured no other ambition apart from leading the Women’s League to which she was accosted and elected, Amai Mugabe said she enjoyed cordial relations with VP Mnangagwa, adding that Zanu-PF and the country’s Constitution were clear that either of the two Vice Presidents would assume leadership should President Mugabe fall ill.
- Call to improve people’s living conditions
- First Lady rallies resume
- VP Mphoko fumes over ‘Mboko’ slur
- Vice President preaches unity
- LIVE BLOG: FIRST LADY AMAI MUGABE MATAGA RALLY
- Zanu-PF remains united: VP Mnangagwa
Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at Mataga Growth Point in Mberengwa,Midlands Province, Amai Mugabe said she was conversant with the provisions of the Constitution and would not usurp powers of either of the VPs.
She was responding to a spirited campaign in the private media that sought to cast her nationwide rallies as a pitch for one of the VP posts, ostensibly VP Mnangagwa’s, at Zanu-PF’s 15th Annual National People’s Conference slated for next month in Victoria Falls.
VPs Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko attended the rally. “Ndanga ndichiti (during a closed briefing) vanhu vanoda kuabuser VaMnangagwa neni. VaMnangagwa is my close friend, my best friend.
“Kubva kudhara ndisati ndatombonzi First Lady ndichidya matomatoes kubva kwavari. Vachinditumira zvinhu kuState House, ini ndichivapawo mapotatoes nemanhanga. Handityi kudya zvinhu zvinobva kwaVaMnangagwa.
“I have respect for this man,” said Amai Mugabe to wild applause from the crowd.
“President Mugabe ndivo President. Vice President mutevedzeri wavo. Makambonzwa rimwe zuva baba vakaenda (outside the country) ndikasara, makambonzwa kuti amai ndivo varikuactor? Haa, nonsense mhani! Hatidi kutaura zvisina nebasa rese (President Mugabe is the President, the Vice President is his deputy. Have you ever seen me act as President whenever the President travels? What utter nonsense!)”.
Amai Mugabe said there was no way she would gun for the VP’s post because the country’s Constitution was clear when it came to national leadership.
“Constitution yenyika ina President pamusoro, kwakuenda maVice President — kuna VaMnangagwa kwozouya VaMphoko. Ataura (political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere pano zvinonzwika. Ndovatungamiri vedu. Nyangwe nhasi zvikanzi Mugabe arwara, Constitution inotaura kuti ava (VP Mnangangwa) kana kuti vanga vagere apa (VP Mphoko) ndivo vanofano kubata tsvimbo. Hapana pakanyorwa kuti nekuti ini ndiri mukadzi wavo, ndinosheya mubhedha navo, ndinodya mundiro navo, hapana pakanyorwa kuti Mai Mugabe ndivo vanoita take over. Tiri vanhu vemutemo. Tinotevedzera mitemo. Ndiri munhu akadzidza mhani ini. Ndinonzi Dr Mugabe ini! Ndinoverenga Constitution ndichinzwisisa. Vanoda kundiita sechimunhu chisina zvachinoziva. Handiite usurp mapowers evanhu,” Amai Mugabe said to applause from the thousands in attendance.
She said all the work she was doing nationwide had the blessing of the three leaders.
“Ndingoriwo neprivilege yekuti kana tichigara muPolitburo ndinogarawo kumberi navo chete. Ndoprivilege yandinayo iyoyo otherwise ndiri pasi-pasi apo ini. Ndiri mutsva muZanu-PF. Vanhu vari kungotaura zvisipo. Ndichiri kudzidza. Ndinoda kudzidza. Ndinoda kudzidziswa. Ndange ndichitaurira nababa VaMnangagwa nababa VaMphoko kuti ndidzidzisei makabva kure imi. Mune experience yandisina inini. I want to learn from you.”
Amai Mugabe said she did not want her good working relations with the two Vice Presidents to be spoiled.
“Kune vamwe vanoda kutarisa tsotso iri muziso reumwe munhu asingaoni iye zidanda riri muziso make. Tanga iwe wabvisa danda iwewe riri muziso mako wouya wobvisa tsotso iri muziso mangu — ndokunge ndakubvumidza nokuti rako zidanda unenge usati wapedza naro. MuZanu-PF tine gwara ratinotevedza.
“Saka ini ndiri munhu wegwara. Ndinoda kuti Mwari vandibatsire kuzvininipisa ndiri munhu akazvininipisa. Ndinogara nemunhu akazvininipisa. Ndakaona nyange tiri kumameetings havaite zvekuti iwe handikuteereri. Ndozvinoita wisdom, ndozvinoita leadership — ari kutaura zvine musoro, ari kutaura zvisina basa unongoteerera.”
Amai Mugabe said she was entitled to meet the people as Zanu-PF Secretary for Women Affairs or even in her capacity as First Lady, listening to their challenges and assisting in the best way she could.
Amai Mugabe described the trio of President Mugabe, VPs Mnangagwa and Mphoko as hardworking people adding some people were so blind not to recognise hardworking leaders.
“Baba ava vari apa ava (VP Mnangagwa) vanoshanda ava. Zviuya zvakawanana vari three vakamira kudai. Vanoshanda varume ava. Vanotishandira nemoyo yese. Hongu ndange ndichitaura history yaVaMugabe. Ivava vane history tsvene, tsvene ava. Vakarwa hondo ava. Hapana anga zviramba izvozvo. Ndakambotaura ndikati baba ava munhu akazvibata vagere apa.”
Amai Mugabe said the forthcoming Zanu-PF conference was not an elective one, but a meeting to take stock of the party’s activities throughout the year, adding the Congress held after every five years chose leaders.
“But every five years ndopanonosarudzwa maleaders. Ndiri correct here baba (referring to VP Mnangagwa)? Hanzi correct nababa. Ndapiwa 100 percent! Ndopanosarudzwa utungamiri ipapo. Saka before taenda kuma elections 2018 tichaita Congress yedu baba. Ndopachasarudzwa maleaders. Apa (forthcoming conference) hapanei nekuti uyu, munhu ari muchigaro chake anongogara ipapo tozoenda after every five years ndopanosarudzwa new leadership.”
The First Lady slammed some elements that claimed that she was angling to takeover as one of the Vice Presidents, adding such people wanted to retard Zanu-PF’s development agenda.
“The war we have is an economic one. So you see, we follow our constitution, everything that we do is written down. There is nowhere written that once you become secretary for Women Affairs you automatically become Vice President. Its not true. Musafurirwe inhema. Ndingori Secretary ini weWomen Affairs ini — ndobasa rangu randakanzi ndiite.’’
She said there was nothing wrong with the two VPs taking notes during her meetings because she would be presenting them challenges from the Women’s League and Zimbabweans at large in her capacity as the leader of women.
She said while she stayed with President Mugabe, it was not easy to tell him all the problems that she got from people, hence her decision to convey some of the challenges to his VPs.
Before addressing the rally, Amai Mugabe attended a briefing of senior party officials where, according to sources, she told party members that she consulted both VPs before she agreed to lead the Zanu-PF Women’s League.
Amai Mugabe, according to the source, said there was no way she could be in an antagonistic relationship with the two VPs since they both endorsed her to lead women after members of the Women’s League had approached her to do so.
“She told the briefing that they even exchange milk between her and VP Mnangagwa and you know milk is such a sensitive product and that shows the faith and respect that exists between them,” said the source.
In her two hour address, Amai Mugabe urged people in Mberengwa to be wary of former Zanu-PF Politburo member, Mr Rugare Gumbo who was expelled from the revolutionary party for being part of the Mujuru putschist cabal to join a political outfit called People First being led by Dr Joice Mujuru.
Amai Mugabe latter handed over agricultural mechanisation equipment to two irrigation schemes in Mberengwa, several tonnes of rice, maize, soap to the villagers.
The event was attended by Government ministers, senior Zanu-PF officials, traditional leaders, and other senior Government officials.