First Lady Grace Mugabe on Thursday disclosed, for the first time since she was nominated to lead the Zanu PF Women's League, that she was now targeting an even higher political post after being mentored by her husband President Robert Mugabe for years.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters during her "Meet the People Tour" at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo, Grace, who inferred she was President Robert Mugabe's apprentice, said her elevation and ambition should not come as a surprise as she had received enough mentorship from the 90-year-old party leader.
"You would see me quiet, a young girl, what did you think I was doing? I was learning," she said in a speech, adding more weight to speculative reports that Mugabe was grooming his wife to succeed him as President.
"So what is shocking you today? You made me what I am, I was copying from you. You are not supposed to be shocked, I am seeing a higher post. If you are not serious, women will take over the party."
Grace then broke into a song before she issued a warning about a looming purge in Zanu PF in the event of a Cabinet reshuffle.
"Some of you here were called [by Mugabe] and were warned, but you did not listen. You know what's next. There are many people who can take the job that you have. You are a crook. If you harden your head, what if the person you are fighting for loses? What will you do? Where will you go? When it ends, some people will suffer strokes," Grace said.
Carrying on with her tradition of not naming the subjects of her attacks, Grace warned that the day of reckoning was nigh.
"Other people have been in political oblivion, but still they do not want to repent," she said.
The First Lady threatened unspecified people, warning they should not play with fire lest they got burnt.
"You only realise after something has befallen you and others say you brought this upon yourself," she added.
Grace saved her strident attack for those angling to succeed her husband.
"Most people were being spoon-fed by my husband. He worked for them, yet today you hear them saying they want to rule the country. Are you able to rule? Leave us alone, you are revolting, you are not able to rule the country."
Grace said most senior party officials clamouring for leadership change in Zanu PF had survived politically courtesy of her husband's graciousness.
She also reiterated accusations that some top officials were receiving money from the British and Americans to effect leadership change in the ruling party.
"There are others who are selling the country. We are aware of it. Others are bribing the Women's League," she claimed, before delving into one of her husband's favourite themes. We know you are receiving millions and we will expose where this money is coming from. You are receiving money from the British and the Americans, but we are watching you."
The incoming Women's League boss also warned that those receiving money would "pay for it", as the money was meant to dislodge Mugabe from power so "whoever came into power would give back farms to the whites".