Demonstrations that appeared to have been co-ordinated rocked ZANU-PF as hundreds of placard-wielding Women’s League members stormed party provincial offices throughout the country demanding the dismissal of the wing’s deputy secretary for women’s affairs, Eunice Sandi-Moyo and secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka.
Sandi-Moyo is being accused of usurping the First Lady’s authority through setting up parallel structures in the league, seen as an attempt to overthrow the secretary for women’s affairs.
Mahoka stands accused of misappropriating some of the league’s funds and undermining Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa following her attacks on him during a meeting at the party’s national headquarters in February last year where she described him as a lame duck.
“Mai Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka must go immediately,” reads part of the petition against the two, which goes on to list 11 offences they allegedly committed.
“They must leave our First Lady, secretary for Women’s League to run the league peacefully. Mai Sandi wants to take over as secretary for women’s affairs and she is working in cahoots with some national members to fight the First Lady. She is creating parallel structures against the First Lady,” further reads the petition.
It claims Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka demoted some national league members and replaced them with their own people without following party procedures and with no approval from the Women’s League boss.
They also allegedly collected money and other resources from the public and converted them to personal use.
Mahoka is also accused of challenging the work of presidential spokesman, George Charamba.
This emanates from her statements in February last year when she publicly asked President Robert Mugabe to rein in on Charamba during the period when the latter was engaged in a public factional spate with Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Jonathan Moyo.
In Harare, the demonstrators gathered at the party’s regional offices where provincial chairlady, Joice Kasinamunda, read the petition amid jubilant applauses.
In Masvingo, they thronged the Chief’s Hall where provincial wing chairperson, Veronica Makonese read the petition.
In Mashonaland East, they were addressed by University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Charity Manyeruke, in the absence of acting chairperson, Beatrice Nyamupinga.
Manyeruke is a member of the provincial executive.
Elsewhere, demonstrators gathered at their respective provincial offices where the same petition was read out.
Sandi-Moyo was not available for comment, while Mahoka, who is also Hurungwe East legislator, said she was not aware of the allegations being levelled against her.
She is currently in the Unites States on parliamentary business.
“I am not around, I am in America right now (but) I don’t know anything,” she said.
Women’s League national secretary for information and publicity, Thokozile Mathuthu was not answering calls on her mobile phone.
Mashonaland West provincial Women’s League chairperson, Angeline Muchemenyi, who addressed demonstrators in Chinhoyi yesterday, said the petition was a product of collective efforts of the league’s national executive and the 10 provincial chairpersons who prepared it and presented it to the First Lady for approval.
“We have been trying to raise these issues since last year but we were not able to go ahead with it because we wanted advice from the First Lady. We finally met her recently and she gave us the nod to proceed to raise our concerns. The women are not happy with the way our mother is being treated by these two and we cannot keep quiet,” she said in a telephone interview from Chinhoyi yesterday.
She also confirmed that the demonstrations took place across all 10 provinces