Grace Mugabe, wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, has once again drawn public ire with her comments, this time blaming women for the way they dress as being the reason behind them getting raped.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at a rally in Mberengwa on Friday, the first lady said, "If you walk around wearing mini skirts displaying your thighs and inviting men to drool over you, then you want to complain when you have been raped? It's unfortunate because it will be your fault."
She went on to offer appropriate dressing tips in order to prevent rape. "Wear clothes like Mai Mugabe or you can chose trousers, but not those which are too tight. These types of clothes are the signs of moral decadence in our country."
The comments by the first lady were made around the same time that women's group Katswe Sisterhood held a demonstration demanding freedom for women to dress the way they wanted.
Ironically, Grace's comments are in contrast to her husband's, who only two months ago said his government was considering castrating rapists. Women across the country took to Twitter to condemn her statements.
Meanwhile, at another rally, the president's wife said that she often skips meals as a show of solidarity with Zimbabwe's large percentage of population that are suffering from famine. She then went on to target private news outlets, suggesting that the reason they write negatively about her was because their "reporters are hungry".
Referring to her husband's health at the political rally on Saturday, Grace stated that she planned to get a special wheelchair for him so that he can continue to rule as president.
At 91 years of age, Robert Mugabe has been criticised by many for failing to keep up to his presidential expectations following a number of recent mishaps. In August, the Zimbabwean president read the wrong speech in parliament, while in February he fell to his knees when he was disembarking from a plane at the Harare International Airport. In another instance, the leader was close to tripping at a meeting with some world leaders.
Addressing critics in the televised speech, Grace (50) insisted that she would push her husband's wheelchair herself if required, for him to continue ruling. Robert, the leader of the Zanu PF party, has held the role of president since the country's independence in 1980 and many believe it is time for the president step down.
Opposition Member of Parliament Godfrey Sithole of the Movement for Democratic Change told VOA Studio 7 that many others like him are keen to unseat the president. "As opposition MPs we have less numbers compared to Zanu PF and most of the Zanu PF members we have talked to are agreeable to the idea of impeaching the president only on condition that we do it using the secret ballot," he was quoted as saying.
However, Constitutional law expert Lovemore Madhuku pointed out that the Zimbabwean constitution does not allow for a secret ballot and would take votes towards impeachment for two thirds of the parliament, most of which is made up of Zanu PF members.