Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned his wife and his vice president’s wife to steer clear of politics to avoid being like Grace Mugabe, the shopaholic, insult-spouting wife of former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe.

Grace Mugabe

A similar demand by Zimbwe’s opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to his own wife has triggered angry comments on social media.

On Saturday Mnangagwa told a fund-raising dinner in Harare that his and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s rallies were “not for the ladies”.

Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa

“Just a few months ago, we had (rallies), where both the (former) First Lady and the President were talking. We don’t want that to be repeated. Let it be a platform which is mine and my vice-presidents’ only and not for the ladies. It’s wrong,” Mnangagwa said in comments carried by the private NewsDay.

Grace Mugabe’s vitriolic comments at rallies overshadowed her ageing husband during his final months in office. She was instrumental in the sacking of Mnangagwa as vice president just days before the military took over and forced Mugabe’s resignation.

Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia has spent a lot of time since her husband took office on November 24 visiting hospitals and orphanages.

Saturday’s fund-raiser was for cancer awareness.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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