Grace Mugabe referred to as ‘her excellency’

The 49-year-old Grace has condemned factionalism tearing apart her husband’s party.

FILE: Robert and Grace Mugabe. Picture: GCIS

NIGERIA - Grace Mugabe's astonishing rise within Zimbabwe's ruling party continues with top officials now referring to her as "her excellency" as if she were already president.

The 49-year-old Grace began holding rallies countrywide last week and has condemned factionalism tearing apart her husband's party.

Just four months ago, Grace was best known as Amai or mother.

But in a sign of her meteoric political rise, the outgoing head of the Women's League, Oppah Muchinguri, introduced Grace Mugabe to supporters at a rally in Gweru yesterday as "her excellency".

The First Lady is likely to be confirmed as head of the women's league at the Zanu-PF congress in December but some analysts believe her ambitions will take her much further than that.

Grace is busy cultivating a "no nonsense" persona as she drums up support for herself and for husband, telling supporters that some in Zanu-PF were treating the 91-year-old like a child.

Unconfirmed reports this week say the first lady is also flexing her muscles at the family home in Zvimba, allegedly sacking up to 30 workers after they complained that meat had been dropped from their lunches.