The First Lady Grace Mugabe, who has openly declared her interest to succeed her 90-year-old husband, President Robert Mugabe, yesterday came up with another bizarre allegation – this time claiming that there were people in Zanu-PF out to assassinate her.
Addressing thousands of people gathered at a rally in Sakubva Stadium, Grace continued with her not-so-subtle insults targeted at Vice President Joice Mujuru and her supporters, and dared unnamed "vultures" to kill her and fulfil their wishes.
Scoffing at an unnamed individual from a rival faction whom she said had written a list of people he/she wanted to be in the party's politburo and who allegedly and cowardly was using the media to communicate this to Mugabe, Grace said if she died, then God would have allowed that to happen.
Before she spoke, rival youths engaged in violence and a fierce war of words just behind the VIP tent.
The violence pitted youths bused from Harare and other areas against Mutare youths who took offence to insults directed at party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa.
Grace said: "Hazvina mhosva nyangwe ukandiuraya, inenge yakwana nguva yangu nekuti ini kufa kwangu handiurayiwe nemunhu asi Mwari kana angoti ndife ndizvozvo (I don't care if you kill me, my time would be up any way because no human being has control over my life but if God permits me to die that will be it)," the First Lady said.
"Nekuti…nekuti… veduwee mapepa iwayo anenge ane list yevanhu achiti isu isu tatosara list yedu yepolitburo hehehehehe zvinosekesa. Izvo ndinosekawo nekuti iwe ukaita list yako chauri kutya chii kuzoiisa mupepa. Ko Mugabe akasaiona? Inenge iri intended kuti Mugabe aione. Enda kwaari uti ndauya neyangu iyi. (There is a list of people this person has chosen to be in the politburo. This is laughable. After compiling your list why are you afraid of just taking it to Mugabe himself. Just go to him straight and tell him that this the list I have made).
"Anokuudza kuti code of conduct hauizivi here. The way vanhu yavanoapoindiwa hauizivi here? Iwe! Hehehehe tichaonerera gore rino. Tichaona chekuona! (He will ask you if you don't know the party's code of conduct and if you don't know the process that needs to be followed for people to be appointed into office. We will see a lot this year.)," Grace said.
With Mujuru and Mnangagwa faction members sitting in two different tents, the First Lady surprisingly tore into both camps, warning them against using her to settle their deep-seated differences.
"I don't want anyone to see me as theirs…I have thought long about this and realised that if I'm not careful, I will be used. There are people who have their scores to settle, but don't try to use me to settle your scores," she said.
Targeting the top Zanu-PF leadership, she said at 49 she is now mature enough to know when she is about to be used to settle personal scores.
"I want to remind you especially at the top. You should know that I'm a mature woman now. l'm 50 soon," she said.
Among others, the rally was attended by Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao, who was in the same tent with alleged Mnangagwa faction members ministers Jonathan Moyo, Joseph Made, Supa Mandiwanzira and Ignatius Chombo.
Other top party stalwarts like Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa, among those said to belong to the Mujuru faction, sat in another tent.
Outgoing Women's League Secretary Oppah Muchinguri said party members were no longer free to interact among themselves for fear of being given tags of belonging to one faction or the other.
"We have reached a point in our party where we are no longer able to greet each other without being labelled as members of one faction or the other," Muchinguri said.
She said Manicaland was notorious for producing Mugabe's opponents in the party, naming the late Edgar Tekere and Mavambo/Kusile leader Simba Makoni in the process, while in the opposition ranks she named the late Abel Muzorewa, Arthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai in a long list that omitted Lovemore Madhuku and the late Ndabaningi Sithole.
Meanwhile, Zanu-PF Harare and Manicaland Provincial Youth League executive members clashed before the rally started, with embattled Harare Youth League chairperson Godwin Gomwe claiming he had been assaulted in the skirmishes.
Manicaland Youth league secretary for administration, Sheila Mutsenyu, who allegedly led the charge at the Harare Youth League executive members, however rubbished Gomwe's claims saying the clash was restricted to harsh verbal skirmishes after the visitors had booed Mutasa and Manicaland provincial chairperson, John Mvundura.
"Gomwe is mobilising bouncers he brought to Mutare and they booed Nyati (Mutasa's totem) and Mvundura achiti pasi neGamatox (down with Gamatox). As youths, we are the vanguard of the party and we cannot remain silent when our leaders are being abused.
"We only had a heated exchange but no one was assaulted," Mutsenyu said.
Mutsenyu gained notoriety last year after she stripped naked in front of US Ambassador Bruce Wharton.
Two years earlier, she had also brazenly and embarrassingly urinated at the Daily News offices in Harare, accusing the top newspaper of being too critical of Zanu-PF.