FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe on Thursday said President Robert Mugabe was once involved in a polygamous relationship.

Grace defended having an affair with the Zanu PF leader when his first wife Sally was still alive, saying she was customarily married to him.

Addressing party youths gathered at her orphanage in Mazowe to show their solidarity following her nomination to become the Women's League boss, Grace lambasted the media for castigating her marriage to Mugabe.

In a no-holds-barred speech, a tough-talking Grace said she would never feel bad even if the media continued to vilify her marriage to Mugabe.

"It did not start today that a man marries two wives. I will not feel bad about it. Let them write whatever they want," Grace said.

Grace, previously married to Stanley Goreraza, an Air Force pilot, officially married Mugabe in 1996.

Mugabe and Grace have three children — Bona, named after Mugabe's mother, Robert Junior and Chatunga Bellarmine.

Bona was born when the late First Lady Sally was still alive but battling with a kidney problem.

Mugabe claimed in an interview with South African journalist Dali Tambo that Sally was aware of his relationship with his former secretary before she succumbed to kidney failure in 1992.

Grace said she had no regrets over her relationship with Mugabe, saying the Zanu PF leader was not unlike any other men, let alone a President, who has entered into a polygamous marriage.

"South African President Jacob Zuma has many wives. I admire him because he stands for what he wants," Grace said.

The First Lady also said she had no regrets over acquiring vast tracts of land to produce and generate revenue to support orphans.

Grace said she had the right to own land where she wanted.

"People might say what they want about land. Yes, I took the land and I don't have regrets at all for acquiring the land. I am a Zimbabwean. We are taking what is rightfully ours," Grace said.

Grace owns vast tracts of land in Mazowe, where she has vast business interests. She seized about 870 hectares of land belonging to Mazowe Citrus Estates, owned by Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Interfresh Holdings.

Recently, she was involved in a land row with close to 1 000 families at Manzou Game Park along Mazowe Dam, which she wanted to take over for her family.

Grace on Thursday hit out at Mazowe South MP Fortune Chasi (Zanu PF) for frustrating her efforts to acquire more land in Mashonaland Central province.

The youths, who endorsed Grace for her nomination to lead the powerful Women's League, promised the First Lady their unwavering support.

Provincial youth chairpersons warned faction leaders that they would deal ruthlessly with those calling for Mugabe's ouster.
Calling themselves "Talibans", they assured Grace they would always be behind her.

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