At the rally, Hurungwe East MP and Women’s League secretary for finance Sarah Mahoka stunned the crowd when she chanted slogans denouncing people who were against the idea of Grace ruling the country.
“Pasi nevasingade kuti Amai (Grace) vatonge (Down with those who do not want Amai (Grace) to rule) . . . Pasi nevanoti Eva (in reference to the Biblical first woman, Eve) haatongi (down with those who say that Eve can’t rule),” Mahoka chanted during introductions.
While Mahoka’s slogan received a resounding applause from the rank and file, most officials at the top table among them Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, Mines minister Walter Chidakwa and Senate president Edna Madzongwe appeared stunned.
Grace was instrumental in destroying Mujuru’s colourful political career last year after leading a spirited campaign against her through making various allegations ranging from corruption, witchcraft incompetence and plotting to assassinate Mugabe.
She said whether one participated in the liberation struggle or not, any party member was free to take up leadership positions in Zanu PF.
“When I went around country late last year denouncing the demon of factionalism they thought I was joking and that the President (Mugabe) was going to stop me. . . but alas, he didn’t, he kept quiet . . . and as an independent mature woman I spoke my mind because Zanu PF is my party and if I want to participate in its affairs no one can stop me,” Grace said.
The First Lady is now considered the second most powerful politician in the country and commands respect within the rank and file and the Zanu PF leadership, with the two Vice-Presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko reportedly consulting and taking notes from her on a regular basis.
Wherever she goes, Grace is followed by most of Mugabe’s ministers who have now resigned to the fact that she was the new centre of power and political queen-maker.
Also at yesterday’s rally were War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa, Information, Communication and Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira and Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora, among others.
Grace who spoke for more than an hour narrated how she plotted Mujuru’s down fall.
“Mai Mujuru didn’t like my ascendency as the Women’s League boss and she organised people to heckle me at my rallies, but I warned her and she didn’t listen until I said enough is enough and red-carded her out of the party,” she said.
Grace said in Zanu PF she was like a “linesman” who has the power to blow the whistle against wayward members while Mugabe was the referee whose role was to flash red cards to errant ones.
“Be warned when I blow the whistle you will be gone . . . When I blew the whistle, me as a linesman, the referee (Mugabe) gave her (Mujuru) a red card,” she boasted.
As usual, the First Lady attacked the Independent Press alleging that one of the private newspapers had been paid $2 million to write bad things about her by Mujuru.
She claimed that newspapers that published negative things about her were doing so because they hated Mugabe.
“Time will come when President Mugabe is gone; you will regret and wish that the President was around because of his good leadership. He is an honest man, he demonstrates probity,” Grace said.