“She isn’t the power behind my throne, she has come into politics in her own right,” Mugabe said, in yet-to-be-aired quotes from the interview published in Friday’s state-run Herald.
Mugabe makes the comment in a special two-part birthday interview being screened on state-owned ZBC TV.
Grace Mugabe only entered full time politics late last year when she was made head of the women’s wing of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
She was subsequently elected to sit on the politburo — the key decision-making body of Mugabe’s party, fuelling speculation that Mugabe was grooming her to take over from him when he dies, or steps down.
But in the interview, dubbed ‘Reflections @91′, Mugabe suggested the press was wrong to suggest his wife was “now the power” in Zimbabwe.
“She hasn’t come yet into the real part of things. She has just attended one Politburo meeting, which she didn’t attend fully because she is not yet strong.”
In the first part of the interview screened late Thursday, Mugabe criticised ex-vice president Joice Mujuru, repeating allegations that she planned to have him assassinated in her quest to take over from him.
“The woman grew too ambitious; did not want to bide her time to see the president either retire or die,” he claimed.
“You don’t go against the rules of the party. You follow the procedures of the party, you obey the hierarchy of the party, you don’t plan a coup d’etat, worse still planning an assassination.”
In December Mujuru dismissed as “ridiculous” allegations that she and her political allies plotted to topple Mugabe.