DEMONSTRATIONS calling for the ouster of Zanu-PF women’s league deputy secretary Cde Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo and secretary for finance Cde Sarah Mahoka continue today as the wing’s 10 provinces descend on Bulawayo to denounce the two.
This follows Wednesday’s demonstrations across the country’s 10 provinces during which cadres demanded the sacking of the two officials over allegations of undermining the authority of Zanu-PF Women’s League Secretary and First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe. Cde Mahoka also stands accused of denigrating Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba.
Cde Moyo called a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday to declare that she was unmoved by the countrywide demonstrations against her but conceded that if the organ wants to oust her, it was free to do so.
She also claimed, without proferring evidence, that there was a plot to create a rift between her and the First Lady.
The party’s Bulawayo provincial women’s league chairperson Cde Eva Bitu yesterday confirmed the demonstration which she said would start at the Davies Hall provincial headquarters.
“The process is expected to start around 10AM. It will be a peaceful demonstration by women from the country’s 10 provinces in support of what happened in the respective provinces yesterday (Wednesday).
“We will start at Davies Hall then we will hold a march around Bulawayo but we can’t give the exact programme because there are some elements who are working against the programme and we don’t want to arm them with information.”
Cde Bitu singled out provincial secretary for finance Cde Butholezwe Gatsi, Central Committee member Cde Butholezwe Ngwenya and Cde Rose Phiri as members of a clique working against the programme.
“We understand that they are planning to hold a pungwe (all night vigil) tonight (last night) to support Sandi. We won’t do anything to them because we are walking with the First Lady, things will sort themselves out on the ground,” said Cde Bitu.
On Wednesday, the placard-waving women handed over petitions to various leaders in the provinces 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 Wednesday making covert manoeuvres to block the protests.
Apart from undermining the First Lady’s authority, Cdes Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo stand accused of embezzling funds sourced from local prophets, businesspeople and corporates using Dr 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 on 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 incidents, the women said, showed “a high degree of insubordination”.
Responding to the demonstrations against her and the accusations she is facing Cde Moyo, who is also the Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs, said she was not the right person to respond to allegations being levelled against her as the protesters had not approached her but the party.
Asked to comment on the demonstrations after addressing a Press Conference on her recent business trip to Malaysia whch was held in her office at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex in Bulawayo, she said the protests were a scheme to create divisions between her and the First Lady.
“I can’t answer because I haven’t been told where the allegations are coming from. Because of the uniformity with which the protests were conducted, it shows that somebody somewhere wants to create a rift between me and the First Lady. I want to tell that person that I’m not moved at all. If the President wants me to continue in office I will continue with my job,” she said.
Cde Moyo said if the Women’s League wants to oust her, it was free to do so but she would remain a loyal party supporter.
“In the Women’s League, if those people have the power to remove me from the post, it’s fine, but I will remain a strong supporter of Zanu-PF because it’s not about positions but loyalty to the party,” she said.
Cde Moyo said it was impossible for her to rebel against the First Lady whom she has been working with on several projects. “Where will I get that power to oust the First Lady? Will I manage that? Is that even possible? If you were to imagine, is it really possible? Those are very impossible things even if I wished,” she said.
“The First Lady has never told me that she is aspiring for a post. Why should I contest her? I’m the one who was going around with her across the country.
Why should I contest her? It’s not possible.”
She said she would not concentrate on squabbles in the party as her duty was to ensure that Bulawayo is revived and jobs are created.
“I don’t want to concentrate on storms that are occurring in the party. We will wait to hear from those who are masterminding them. But you shouldn’t ask me a lot of questions because that is not my project. I don’t know what the owner of the project is planning,” she said.
Cde Moyo said she was aware that some men in the party were also part of the plot against her which was being championed by people who are anti-development and do not want to see any progress.