Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party youth leader has encouraged Grace Mugabe to use a whip on her errant "children", after the first lady was accused of whipping South African model Gabriella Engels with an electric cable last month.
Kudzanai Chipanga said the Zanu-PF youth members were Grace Mugabe's children, and she had the right to discipline them physically.
"Yes, children do go astray sometimes amai (mother)," Chipanga said, in comments carried by NewZimbabwe.com
"It's your right as our mother to discipline us in every manner possible even flogging us with a whip," he said, speaking in Shona.
The comments could be interpreted as an endorsement by the Zanu-PF youths of Grace's alleged assault of Engels after she found her in her sons' Sandton hotel room last month.
It wasn't clear whether Chipanga was also urging the First Lady to discipline her two sons, Robert Junior and Bellarmine Chatunga, who were reportedly evicted from another plush Sandton apartment in June over their rowdy behaviour.
The ruling party's youth and women's wings are seen as key allies of Grace Mugabe.
The rally Friday in the central town of Gweru was her first since the incident in Sandton, but she made no reference to Engels during her speech.
Chipanga added that if Grace didn't use a whip against her "children" she will "still be blamed tomorrow for letting us go astray".
Grace escaped possible prosecution in South Africa after President Jacob Zuma's government gave her diplomatic immunity.
Engels, who says she suffered head injuries from the assault, last week applied to the North Gauteng High Court to set aside the granting of diplomatic on the grounds that the Zimbabwean first lady had committed a serious crime.