10 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Mpofu Says Saved By Wife From Venormous Grace

Photo: Nehanda Radio
Obert Mpofu

Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu has vowed his ever-lasting love for ousted President Robert Mugabe but has made astounding claims he used to ask his own wife to pray for him to be spared from former First Lady, Grace's insults during rallies.

Mpofu, scorned for his superfluous respect for the unpopular leader, told State media weekend he lived in constant fear of foul-mouthed Grace who threw tantrums at cabinet ministers at will.

"We love the former President Cde Mugabe, not even one of us hates him. But there were weeds, malcontents and criminals in the party who did as they pleased," Mpofu said.

Grace, who did not have any government post, had amazing powers to drag cabinet ministers and other government officials to her own rallies which were televised live on national television.

During the rallies, top leaders at the time, among them, then Vice President Joice Mujuru, then Mashonaland East provincial governor Ray Kaukonde and the late ambassador and legislator Amos Midzi were among those she humiliated publicly.

When these were pushed out of the party during the onset of Zanu PF's fierce purges on rivals in 2014, Grace turned to then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa whom he accused of plotting a coup against her 93-year-old husband.

Presidential spokesperson and permanent secretary George Charamba was among meek top government officials who took her vitriol.

Several other grown men who commanded great influence in both government and party were reduced to children as they were harangued in front of Zanu PF rallies and television audiences by Grace.

Mnangagwa, now substantive State leader, was a constant target of Grace's diatribes.

But one man whose secret seemed to have worked for him was Mpofu who revealed he often asked his devout Seventh Day Adventist Church wife, Sikhanyisiwe Mpofu to seek divine intervention on his behalf in the hope that the prayers would protect him from a tongue lashing by Grace.

"Before attending rallies," Mpofu said, "I would ask my wife to pray because it could be me who would be insulted. What kind of a party is that! There were some difficulties in the party."

Mpofu, who once signed off a letter to Mugabe as "your ever obedient son", did not say anything about sharing his secret with his new boss, Mnangagwa.

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