HARARE – Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace has lashed out at elements in the ruling Zanu PF party she said were bent on tarnishing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s image.

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Only last week however, Grace is the one who was casting aspersions at the vice presidents, telling them they should not imagine they were anointed successors merely because they acted in President Robert Mugabe’s absence.

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On Thursday Mugabe’s wife told a Zanu PF Women’s League meeting in Harare that she already has enough power she does not need anymore.

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“We have people going about claiming that Vice President Mnangagwa wants to be President or is setting himself up to be,” she said.

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“They have also brought my name into the mix claiming I want to lead.

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“I can stand here and defend Vice-President Mnangagwa because I have never heard him claim that he wants President Mugabe removed.”

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She insisted that her husband was the sole centre of power in Zanu PF.

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“We went to congress and elected President Mugabe; he is the only centre of power in Zanu PF. I have made it categorically clear that I do not have ambitions to be President. I am satisfied with what I am doing and the positions I hold now.

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“I have my businesses to run; I lead the Women’s League and rejected calls to be minister of Women’s Affairs because my plate is already overflowing. So I cannot take anymore. I believe power should be shared, positions should be shared,” said Grace.

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“I am happy that I even have reached this position in the party because never in my dreams had I imagined this happening,” she added.

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“But there are people in the party and outside it who would want to tarnish Vice Presidents Mnangagwa and Mphoko (Phelekezela)’s images by claiming that they want to take over from President Mugabe. They are paying women money to spread this malice.”

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Mugabe has been leader of Zanu PF since taking power during the tumultuous liberation war years following the assassination of revered former chairman Herbert Chitepo and the bloodless coup that deposed then president Ndabaningi Sithole.

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Grace took over as Zanu PF Women’s League boss mid-last year and was instrumental in the removal of then vice president Joice Mujuru before Mnangagwa’s elevation and Mphoko’s jettisoning from an ambassadorial posting in South Africa to the second most powerful position in Zimbabwe’s body politic.

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Mujuru, along with other senior members of the party were accused of seeking to topple Mugabe by force an accusation they denied.

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Mnangagwa is now seen as shoe-in to take over from 91-year-old Mugabe but the situation remains as fluid amid reports veteran Zanu PF leader may be priming his acid-tongued wife for the top job.

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