ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe may have ended squabbles over the venue where his wife Grace will meet and address ruling party supporters in the Manicaland province next week.
The venue for the First Lady’s visit to the province had become a hot issue as it worsened Zanu PF factional fights between rival camps led by provincial minister Mandi Chimene and environment minister Oppah Muchinguri.
Grace, who is also the ruling party secretary for women’s affairs, is now seen as the kingmaker and is expected to mend the widening rift between Chimene and Muchinguri.
According to reports, Grace was scheduled to address party supporters in Cashel valley in Chimanimani, home of acting provincial chairperson Samuel Undenge. But Muchinguri’s camp reportedly opted for Sakubva Stadium.
Addressing party supporters at the Harare International Airport soon after his arrival from New York where he attended the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, Mugabe warned Muchinguri’s camp to stop tearing the party apart and causing more confusion.
Amai Mugabe wants to go to Manicaland but iyezvino pane vanga vaita query, (but others are against that).
Rwendo rwuno ndanga ndisingade kuenda ku dhorobha ndanga ndichida kuenda kuvanhu (she said this time she did not want to go to any town or city, but in the rural areas where most people live).
Now va Undenge had said you can come to Chimanimani, zvikanzi aiwa hatidi ndinoda vauya kudhunu rangu (Others said no, we don’t want you to go there).
Ko dunhu ra Chairman hakuendawo musangano, kusanzwana ikoko hatidi (so you mean, no rallies should be held in the chairman’s constituency; we dont want squabbles).
Mugabe, without mentioning any names, said it was high time the weevils stopped their shenanigans.
Muchinguri, who is believed to be VP Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, has provincial women’s chairperson Happiness Nyakuedzwa and Mike Madiro among other leaders, on her side.
Asi hatizoshaye zvipfukuto (we still have weevils amongst us).
Vazhinji vanouya kwamuri vachiti dai masupporter ana ngana, asi musangano unegwara tino supporter musangano (others will come to you, telling you what to do and whom to support, but we should be guided by the party’s values and principles).
Chimene’s camp reportedly has deputy secretary for youth Kudzi Chipanga and youth leader Mubuso Chingono and other senior provincial leaders.
Mugabe’s remarks also come at a time when several ruling party leaders, politburo members and cabinet ministers are said to have received threats over their alleged allegiances.
Just a reminder, vakuru dzokai kuna Amai. Kwamuri uko hakuna upenyu. (just a reminder, return to Grace, there is no life where you are).
One centre of power to Amai, your days are numbered. Tiri kukuziva (we know you) #Team Grace (G40) reads some of the messages that are said to have been sent via mobile phones from an anonymous number.