GRACE MUGABE

Harare - Grace Mugabe has called on Vice-President Joyce Mujuru to resign immediately, saying she stole millions via a “botched” diamond deal with Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasim of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The first lady also said Mujuru had shares in a largely white-owned diamond company that she said was part of a western plot to destabilise President Robert Mugabe.

Grace Mugabe was speaking to veterans of the war that brought Zimbabwe to 1980 independence. “We know her capabilities and we know those who can reach President Mugabe’s levels and she is not one of them,” Grace Mugabe said, according to a report in Friday’s Herald newspaper.

“One, she survives on extortion and does not want to work for herself. Two, she wants to grab power from the president illegally. Three, all minerals you (Mujuru) declare that they are yours and four, you are incompetent,” she said of the vice-president, whose powerful husband, Solomon, died in a mysterious fire three years ago.

“She (Joyce) is someone without principles and they (the US and UK) wanted to use someone from within the party… She was given money and some things to give people.”

Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasim of the UAE made an official visit to Harare early last year, and various agreements were reportedly signed.

Several other Arab leaders have visited Zimbabwe in recent years, most of them interested in the alluvial diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe.

Grace Mugabe, speaking at the children’s orphanage near Harare said Mujuru was plotting against her husband “day and night,” and named senior party politicians who were working with her.

Rumours swirled this week that Mujuru had been sacked.

But Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo dismissed that and said the party’s politburo was due to meet on Friday.

“Nothing like that has happened,” he said.

Many of Zanu-PF’s top leaders are in Grace Mugabe’s fire, including the administrative secretary, Didymus Mutasa.

Grace Mugabe appears, analysts say, to support Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe at some time, or herself. But tensions in Zanu-PF are rising.

Others who support her are Information Minister Jonathan Moyo reports say manipulates state media to cover Grace Mugabe’s rallies, which are organised by the army and civil servants.

Independent Foreign News