First Lady Grace Mugabe on Wednesday claimed that she was approached by some white farmers, at the height of the land reform programme, and offered a $10 million bribe and personal mansions to persuade her husband President Robert Mugabe to stop the annexations.Addressing about 15 000 Zanu PF supporters at a Thank You rally in Harare, Grace said: “People came to us (First Family) offering to build houses. We looked at the plan and we said, take that money to Zanu PF. They wanted to buy us. They came to me thinking that as a young woman, I could be bought. You can’t buy me.
“White people came to me with $10 million to stop the land reform programme. I said to them don’t ever come back to me. I chucked them out of my office and almost spat at their faces. They thought I was a soft target on the programme.
“Money from enemies for your own benefit is not good. Clean money should be brought to all of us because if given to you only, you lose focus and wisdom. If it comes only to you, what about the rest of the people?” she said.
Grace also challenged Zanu PF legislators to fulfil their 2013 election promises, saying they risked losing their seats in the 2018 elections if they failed to deliver.
In an about-turn, the First Lady, who, in her previous rallies, sounded combative and launched scathing attacks against “inept” party leaders and her rivals, on Wednesday appeared conciliatory and urged Zanu PF members to forge unity of purpose.
To demonstrate her commitment to ending factionalism, she invited the warring Harare provincial party chairman Amos Midzi and youth chairperson Godwin Gomwe to the podium where they publicly embraced and made peace with each other.
Gomwe and Midzi had been engaged in fierce fights believed to be stemming from the two distinct factions led by Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Midzi is reportedly linked to the Mujuru camp while Gomwe is said to be a Mnangagwa ally .
Grace on Wednesday said the gesture signalled the change of Zanu PF politics and the beginning of a new era.
“For things to move forward, we need love, peace and harmony. I hear a lot of people saying bad things about me, but as a mother, if a child says something, maybe you are not giving that child attention,” she said before calling to the podium Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe and declared that she had also made peace with him following reports that the Harare South MP had fiercely resisted her political rise.
Mashayamombe reportedly told President Robert Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao to find a political home for Grace in Mashonaland West province as she was not welcome in Harare.
The Harare South MP, however, denied ever engaging in such a discussion with Zhuwao.
“I am your mother and President Mugabe is your father. You are human, whether you said it or not, I want to tell you, you are my son, I forgive you. Harare will never be the same again. I love you, let’s work together,” she said.
She said there were placards with “bad things” written on them that were blocked from the venue, but added that she wanted them in so that as a mother, she would stop factionalism as evidenced by such.
part of the crowd that attended Grace Mugabe’s meet the people tour at the City sports centre yesterday
“I prayed for wisdom from God, I am praying for wisdom and pray to end this fighting. Midzi, come here. I am here because of Zanu PF. In Harare, Midzi is our chairman, we don’t want to trouble him to lose focus and fail to do the work. He must not be troubled. I want Gomwe here,” she said.
“Midzi is the father and Gomwe is the son and I asked the two why this fighting. I sat down with them, I prayed and we have started a new lease of life here in Harare. We want to work together for Zanu PF,” Grace said.
She implored party leaders and supporters to shun factionalism, admitting that Zanu PF leaders at the top were fanning factionalism down to the structures.
She said the infighting in Zanu PF was leading to failure by the party to provide on service delivery.
She said local authorities pushing for the demolition of houses should stop that and focus on development.
“People are angry, let’s not fool ourselves. We have the water crisis, the sewer issue. If we stop fighting, if we are sincere about it, we can deliver.
“We can’t be a party that is good at promises, no, let’s deliver, and let’s give people what we promised them as failure to do that, it will be tough for us next election.”