Zanu-PF Women’s League members across the country’s 10 provinces demonstrated yesterday demanding the ouster of the organ’s deputy chairperson Cde Eunice Sandi-Moyo and secretary for Finance Cde Sarah Mahoka for undermining the authority of the wing’s Secretary and First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe. Cde Mahoka also stands accused of denigratingVice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba.
Watch video here……….
The placard-waving women handed over petitions to various leaders for onward submission to the First Lady and the party’s leadership.
They demanded that Cdes Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo’s handlers, whom they said were well-known, be fired or demoted.
Some Zanu-PF bigwigs allegedly spent the better part of yesterday making covert manoeuvres to block the protests.
Apart from undermining the First Lady’s authority, the pair stands accused of embezzling funds sourced from local prophets, businesspeople and corporates using Amai Mugabe’s name and without her knowledge.
The Women’s League wants Cde Mahoka fired for her untoward behaviour during a rally at Zanu-PF Headquarters last year where she likened Zanu-PF Second Secretary and VP Mnangagwa to a duck for his silence in the Zanu-PF succession matrix.
At the same rally, the Hurungwe East legislator challenged President Mugabe to state if he had authorised his spokesperson Mr Charamba to give an interview to ZiFM radio.
Both incidences, the women said, showed “a high degree of insubordination”.
In Harare, some of the placards were inscribed: “Sandi and Mahoka handlers bhasopo!”, “Stealing Sisters bring back the money”, “Musangano hauputswe nenhiyo dzeGamatox”, “Sandi, the mother of tribalism”, “No to Sandi and Sarah parallel structures” and “We will cleanse the party of all Sandists.”
Manyame district chairlady Cde Sikhumbuzo Munyawarara, summarised the petition before handing it over to Harare provincial chairlady Cde Joice Kusinamunda at the party’s provincial headquarters in the city.
Said Cde Munyawarara: “It is us women who approached Dr Mugabe to lead us and it is us again defending her from those plotting against her, namely Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo.
“It is clear Sandi-Moyo wants to take over leadership of the Women’s League as she is creating parallel structures. They have abused the First Lady’s name and authority and we should get rid of them now. Go (Cde Kasinamunda) and tell the leadership that we no longer want these two people.”
Cde Kasinamunda chipped in: “As for Mahoka, she attacked VP Mnangagwa and (the Presidential spokesperson) Mr Charamba and we remained quiet and now she is challenging the First Lady even during meetings and we cannot fold our hands.
“It is the President who makes appointments and who is she to challenge our one centre of power?”
The pair, according to Cde Kasinamunda, received $20 000 from Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo and shared the loot.
“They claimed the money was for the organisation of a rally meant to celebrate President Mugabe’s successful tenure as African Union chairperson,” she said.
“All the parties involved in this transaction did not tell Amai (Dr Mugabe) about this donation and chickens only came home to roost when (Prof) Jonathan was arrested. They also took another $100 000 from a local prophet and shared it amongst themselves with their handlers.”
In Mashonaland East, the women gathered at the provincial offices in Marondera, with secretary for administration Professor Charity Manyeruke reading out the petition.
In their grievances, the women said Cdes Mahoka and Sandi were illegally collecting fuel coupons and cash from the public.
“Mahoka and Sandi were busy demoting national Women’s League leaders and replacing them with their choices without following party procedures and approval from the First Lady,” reads the petition.
“Mahoka refused to listen to the authority of the First Lady when she was asked to excuse herself from a meeting as requested by chairwomen from all provinces. This is a high degree of insubordination.”
In Masvingo, hundreds of Zanu-PF Women and Youth League members braved the rains and gathered at Chief’s Hall singing revolutionary songs in support of President Mugabe and Amai Mugabe.
Masvingo Women’s League provincial secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Ruth Mhungu was cheered by the crowd as she read out some of the messages on the placards.
Some of the messages read: “Sandi hands off provinces” and “Sandi the double dealer, ashungurudza Amai, ashungurudza tese”.
The demonstrators handed a petition in a sealed envelope to Masvingo Women’s League chairperson Cde Veronica Makonese, who responded:
“By Monday I would have submitted this petition that contains a list of your grievances against some of our leaders in the Women’s League. I am not going to open this sealed letter and read it because it is not meant for me, but the placards that I am seeing here should be an indication of what is in this petition.”
Politburo member and Women’s League national secretary for security Cde Shuvai Mahofa, said the ruling party Women’s League had a history of consistently toeing the party line.
‘’Ever since the formation of our party (Zanu) in the early 1960s we have never had a situation where members of the Women’s League would try to rebel and sow seeds of confusion in our party, we will never tolerate unruly elements bent on brewing trouble in our party,’’ she said.
In the Midlands province, members of the Women’s League from all districts converged at the party office where they denounced Cdes Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka.
They accused the pair of, among other issues, corruption, tribalism and abusing Amai Mugabe.
The Women’s League and youths marched from the Kwekwe town centre to the district party office, before handing over their petition to the provincial chairwoman, Cde Elena Shirichena.
Cde Shirichena said Cde Mahoka was accused of abusing funds meant for development projects for women and misappropriating resources availed to women and the youths, as well as denigrating Presidential appointees and undermining the authority of President Mugabe.
In Mashonaland West, members of the Women’s League staged a peaceful demonstration at the provincial party office in Chinhoyi, calling for the ouster of Cdes Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo.
Mashonaland West province sponsored Cde Mahoka’s elevation to the national Women’s League executive.
The placard waving women handed a petition to provincial chairlady Cde Angelina Muchemenyi.
The placards read: “Mahoka tapedza newe”, “Mahoka the faction mother”, “Kutuka maVP kutuka VaMugabe”, “Atosvora Amai Atosvora Nesu”.
In Bulawayo, scores of placard-waving demonstrators gathered at the Bulawayo provincial headquarters at Davies Hall denouncing the pair.
Addressing the women after the demonstration, the party’s Bulawayo provincial chairperson for the Women’s League, Cde Eva Bitu, said they wanted a decision to be taken against the two.
“I can’t say much, this is not my meeting, but I will take your concerns to the First Lady Amai Mugabe who will decide the way forward,” she said. “What you are doing here is being done by other provinces throughout the country. On Friday, all provinces are going to come to Bulawayo for another similar demonstration.”
Cde Bitu said no one in the party could insult the First Family and go unpunished.
“Let’s respect our First Lady and we still pledge our loyalty to President Mugabe who is the party’s centre of power,” she said.
In Lupane, in Matabeleland North, 200 women from across the province gathered at the party’s old provincial offices carrying banners denouncing Cdes Moyo and Mahoka.
Matabeleland North Women’s League provincial Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Sithembubuhle Sibanda told the demonstrators: “We support our mother because she has helped us dearly with licences for fishing, chicken projects and now she wants to start irrigation projects for us.
“We will support her throughout. Phansi loSandi loMahoka (down with Sandi and Mahoka).”
In Matabeleland South provincial capital, Gwanda, scores of placard-waving women from all the seven districts sang revolutionary songs denouncing the pair.
Women’s League provincial chairperson Cde Sister Bhebhe said President Mugabe was the only centre of power.
“So, we are saying down with Sandi Moyo,” she said. “We, therefore, would like to join the rest of the country in denouncing Sandi and Mahoka for disrespecting the leadership.
“Down with those who disrespect Dr Mugabe, if they can’t lead the people then they should go. We are daughters of Zanu-PF who are respectful, so they have failed to respect and for that reason, they should go. Disrespecting the First Lady is an insult to our Mother and leader.”
In Manicaland, women from the party’s eight districts led by their provincial chairperson, Cde Esteri Madhuku-Mlambo, gathered at Mutare Hall where they chanted slogans, denouncing Cdes Moyo and Mahoka.
They had a petition which listed some of the allegations being levelled against Cdes Moyo and Mahoka.
There was a similar march in Mashonaland Central where members of the Women’s League marched to the party offices denouncing Cdes Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka over similar charges.
They waved placards with various messages, which summarised the crimes the duo is accused of.