HARARE - The quality of First Lady Grace Mugabe’s so-called “Meet the People” rallies plumbed new depths yesterday with one of her closest lieutenants and secretary for security in the Women’s League, Shuvai Mahofa, pilloring Vice President Joice Mujuru by saying “Pasi naJoice nembwa dzake (Down with Joice and her dogs)”.
As the controversial Mahofa shouted the crass and tasteless slogan, President Robert Mugabe’s wife and the other bigwigs at the high table just smirked.
And when it was the turn of Grace to address the cross-border vendors that she had called to her Mazowe business hub, she took her now familiar attacks on Mujuru a notch higher, saying her husband could appoint anyone, either male or female, as vice president, giving steam to growing perceptions that Mugabe could reward Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa with the position.
“After 34 years in government you go to newspapers to say I am being removed unconstitutionally. You should read the constitution of party and country well and understand before you go,” Grace said, adding that Mujuru had only been appointed to her current position on account of being a woman.
“...the constitution says ‘at his leisure’ he appoints whoever he sees fit to be his second-in-command (and) there is nowhere it says male or female should be appointed as vice president or that if you are elected in the party you automatically become the country’s VP.
“...we have a right to say the road you are walking on does not tally with what the nation expects, so leave…,” Grace said.
“Because sometimes the one who appointed wants you out but does not want to embarrass you. He would just be waiting for you to write and say I have resigned but if you are hard-headed tomorrow you will be ousted like the others…. Saka ndiri kuti munhu ngaadzokere kuDotito (Go back to Dotito). If you do that we will respect you and sit down and talk,” she added.
Grace also told the crowd that Mujuru should not wear skimpy clothes because of the cellulite on her body.
“Today there were media reports saying that I said I have a recording of Mai Mujuru being intimate with a man. What I said is she should not wear mini-skirts in front of young people, I said so because it is her culture.
“What she was wearing in the video was inappropriate considering she was in her lounge with a young man. Ende munhu ane muviri muhombe (She has a big body).
“Even in real life, I have seen her like that. Even women in Parliament came to me complaining saying we educated her on how to dress. I said let her but not before children. Chero isu tine miviri akanaka handife ndakapfeka mini pavana,” she added.
At the emotive rally, outgoing Women’s League boss Oppah Muchinguri openly sang the song, “Hokoyo Mujuru ndanga ndakarara ndamuka Mujuru hokoyo,” a belligerent song that loosely translated says “Beware Mujuru. I was asleep but now I’m awake, beware Mujuru”.
Grace revealed that she was once a cross-border trader and that she had risen from selling small items at flea markets to her current position.
She said cross border traders should accept slow growth instead of behaving like those who were seeking quick ascendancy in life.
“Too much speed as once referred to by Mai Muchinguri as supersonic speed, it is dangerous. Inokukudubutsa. We said too much speed saka tinoda kumbokudimburirai speed iyoyo.”
The First Lady accused Mujuru of consulting traditional healers, adding that the Women’s League had vowed to express a vote of no confidence on her this coming Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Ray Kaukonde — the deposed Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson — has vehemently denied the 49 year-old businesswoman’s accusations that he had changed names and forged certificates.
“My mother died when I was young. I was brought up by my aunt. Is that a crime? I have never changed my name, why should I do that?” he said in an interview with the Daily News from his farm.
“My father is very much alive… I went to war at a very young age. I did not have any certificates to forge. Can you ask Zimsec or Cambridge to produce the forged papers?” Kaukonde added.