FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe will resume her “meet the people” rallies after President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash in Masvingo tomorrow although she has been asked to tone down acerbic attacks at her whirlwind political gatherings and instead focus more on campaigning for the party and advancing the Women’s League cause ahead of the 2018 elections.
The order to refrain from attacking senior party officials, which came from President Robert Mugabe, followed a complaint by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a meeting on Monday last week. Grace last held a rally in Chiweshe two weeks ago, where she threw daggers at Mnangagwa and service chiefs, accusing them of plotting to bomb her dairy. She also accused them of planning to kill her son, Bellarmine, among other things. Grace used the rally to attack war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, a strong Mnangagwa ally.
Mnangagwa complained to Mugabe over the attacks, resulting in him calling for a meeting which was also attended by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and the First Lady.
“In the meeting, Mnangagwa said he was not happy with the way the rallies were being conducted. He felt that the rallies were fanning divisions and meant to attack his person. The vice-president wanted Grace’s rallies stopped,” a senior government official said.
“Grace, with the help of Mugabe, however said the rallies were important as they were meant to drum up support for the party as well as distribute tractors, food and clothes to needy people. She also said the Women’s League wanted to be in constant touch with the people.
“Mugabe however said Grace should tone down her rhetoric and focus on the objectives of the rallies, although he was of the opinion his wife should not be stopped.”
Grace intends to visit all provinces in her latest round of rallies.
At the Chiweshe rally, she promised fireworks in her upcoming rallies, telling her supporters she would mention names of people who were plotting against Mugabe.
The Chiweshe rally came after Mnangagwa was publicly ridiculed by Women’s League treasurer Sarah Mahoka at a rally organised by the group ahead of the last politburo meeting.