WAR veterans yesterday claimed that Zanu PF women’s league boss, First Lady Grace Mugabe (pictured), has surrounded herself with a group of “pathetic liars with dubious backgrounds”, who pretended to love her, while destroying the ruling party from within.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, told NewsDay yesterday that Grace’s deputy, Eunice Sandi-Moyo and women’s league finance secretary, Sarah Mahoka always fed the First Lady with lies to curry political favour.
“These people have dubious backgrounds and because of that, they are the people causing confusion,” he said, adding their falsehoods had caused disharmony between the First Family and the war veterans.
“They lie and pretend to be too close, loving and liking the First Family, when they are hiding bags of snakes and we are now going to expose every other bag of snakes that they have, so that the First Lady is aware of the people she is working with. She is surrounded by pretenders and this is why they are trying to put a gap between war veterans and the First Family.”
This is the latest episode in factional fighting in Zanu PF and Mahoka found herself in the crosshairs of war veterans after she accused Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa of allowing his name to be used by a clique that wanted him to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
Senior war veterans are said to back Mnangagwa in the succession battle, but a group believed to be against this is said to be working with Grace.
Previously, the former freedom fighters have had nasty brushes with the other party organs, particularly the commissariat and youth league, as well as some senior members.
Matemadanda said they were now on a mission to reclaim Grace from her handlers in the G40 faction and take her back to the original Zanu PF.
He said a number of top Zanu PF officials, including the seven expelled youth provincial chairpersons, were victims of lies fed to Grace.
Matemadanda said Mahoka had a dubious record in the party and had “ruffled too many feathers” and labelled Moyo “a great pretender”.
“She (Moyo) has been one of the leaders of Gamatox. We know how she moved from there to the current set-up, but then she goes on to lie to the First Lady pretending to be loving the First Lady and First Family when we know she is still linked to (expelled former Vice-President Joice) Mujuru,” he claimed.
“If we have people like Sandi Moyo, who think their other side is not known, then they will keep lying to the President (Mugabe), so that people will not get a chance to give the correct story about these people. We as war veterans have decided to tell it as it is.”
Matemadanda said they had documented numerous alleged misdeeds by Grace’s juniors. He claimed Moyo was running a vehicle project for women in Bulawayo on behalf of Mujuru and that the Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister was closer to the axed vice-president than to Grace and was also clandestinely campaigning to dislodge Mnangagwa and his counterpart, Phelekezela Mphoko.
“We are prepared to prove that and if there is going to be commotion and confusion in the women’s league for the good, then we will be happy about that because we are not fabricating or creating stories,” he said.
“We are saying what we know is true. We hope this is going to save our party because it was near collapse as a result of these people, who always lie to the First Family and we now want to expose them.”
Moyo yesterday dismissed Matemadanda’s accusations, saying she had no time to respond to his allegations.
“He (Matemadanda) just wants to create confusion. I don’t belong to the war veterans’ association. He is not a spokesperson of Zanu PF, so I don’t listen to what he says,” she fumed.
“I know where I belong and I belong to Zanu PF. He has been going all over the country fighting everyone.
“What does he know about me that is not known by my friends? Matemadanda is not my friend. We want to focus on women’s league issues and I don’t have time for his allegations.”
Mahoka said she was in a meeting and could not take questions.