President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace on Saturday paraded presidential spokesperson George Charamba before a Zanu PF rally attended by thousands and dressed him down for allegedly influencing the State-controlled Herald newspaper to ignore her philanthropic work in Mazowe while giving her party rivals positive coverage.
Grace was speaking just before her husband's keynote address at President Mugabe's youth interface rally at the Chinhoyi University of Technology Saturday afternoon.
In her address, the garrulous First Lady, as usual, wore her heart on her sleeves and humiliated Charamba, the country's Information Ministry Permanent Secretary who is also linked to Vice President Emmerson Mngangagwa's camp within Zanu PF.
"George iwewe, you are a prolific writer. You are an avid reader. I respect you for that. I respect you in your intellectual capacity," Grace said, while wagging a contemptuous finger at a visibly embarrassed Charamba who smiled sheepishly while nodding in assumed agreement.
Grace went on, "George is employed in the President's Office as the presidential spokesperson, as Secretary for Information but right now we are only seeing in the Herald, there are only specific people who receive positive coverage while the others are being ignored.
"Don't think we are not seeing that, my son. Don't do that."
The First Lady runs an orphanage in the Mashonaland Central area and has of late been under-fire for dislodging villagers in attempts to expand her empire into animal keeping.
Grace said she knew Charamba from a long time back and has done a lot to bring him closer to the first family but the senior civil servant was not grateful.
"But you did not reciprocate, iwe, George," she said.
"We don't want you to do that. You represent the President. You cannot separate the President and his wife. That is impossible!
"No! He should stand for what is there. I do a lot of great work every day. George uyu, I am the wife to his father, ava, (Mugabe).
"He has never set foot in Mazowe to see what I do other than writing nonsense which has nothing to do with development. He knows I do great work but does not care.
"George, iwe, you are below ministers, you have no right to quarrel with a minister. If a minister is victimising you, you should tell the President."
Grace was apparently referring to the fallout Charamba had with then information Minister Jonathan Moyo (now Higher and Tertiary Education Minister) who is linked to G40, a rival faction to VP Mnangagwa's so-christened Team Lacoste.
The First Lady also said there was a state media siege on Moyo, who is G40 kingpin and fellow cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere on unsubstantiated claims of corruption.