According to Bloomberg, this came after the country’s intelligence chief warned that “her campaign may stoke political violence”.
Quoting three members from the ruling Zanu-PF party’s politburo, Bloomberg said that Grace’s ambition faced opposition from the military, who backed Mnangagwa as next leader.
“Mugabe asked his wife Grace, 51, to tone down her public criticism of veterans of Zimbabwe’s independence war who’ve supported the president since he took power in 1980 and back her main rival, Deputy President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 74,” the politburo members were quoted as saying.
Zanu-PF was reported to be divided into two distinct factions that sought to outwit each other in the battle to succeed Mugabe, 93.
The nonagenarian has failed to groom a successor in his 37 years in power in the southern African country.
One of the camps calling itself “Team Lacoste” was linked to Mnangagwa, while another faction made up of Young Turks trading by the name Generation 40 was reportedly linked to First Lady Grace.
G40 was said to be seeking to torpedo Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
In April, Zimbabwean former freedom fighters reportedly said they would rather vote for “a stick” if Mngangagwa failed to succeed Mugabe.
According to News Day, the war veterans vowed to continue backing Mnangagwa, with the spokesperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), Douglas Mahiya saying at the time that their move was in line with the Zanu-PF leadership structure agreed upon under the Mgagao Declaration of 1975.
“We agreed there that the civilian structure would be religiously followed with no attempt to stop each other. That is why Emmerson (Mnangagwa) is quiet. We must respect the sacredness of the structure of the revolution which even caused the deaths of our gallant sons and daughters,” Mahiya was quoted as saying.