Tables turn against Mahoka
KAROI — ZANU-PF Women’s League national secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka, is getting a taste of her own medicine.
Last week, some disgruntled ZANU-PF cadres demonstrated against Mahoka on the sidelines of a meeting convened by the women’s assembly at the ruling party’s offices in Chinhoyi, a farming town located approximately 120 kilometres northwest of the capital, Harare.
The protesters were holding placards, denouncing the Hurungwe East legislator for allegedly misleading and stealing from the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
President Robert Mugabe’s wife is the secretary for women’s affairs, a position she gained after being nominated to lead the powerful Women’s League in 2014.
Mahoka has distinguished herself as a rabble-rouser in ZANU-PF.
She is one of the few politicians who speak their mind.
In her case, she pays little regard to the consequences, most probably due to her limited education.
While her sharp tongue has endeared herself with some admirers in the ruling party, those who have been at the receiving end seem to be mobilising against her.
A few months ago, Mahoko pushed her luck a bit too far when she challenged Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to come out clean on reports that he harbours ambitions to succeed President Mugabe, whom he has worked with for over 50 years.
A calculative politician, affectionately known as “Ngwena or the Crocodile”, Mnangagwa chose to ignore Mahoka’s gauntlet — perhaps knowing full well that every dog will eventually have its day.
While it may not be the Vice President behind Mahoka’s troubles, it is quite clear that Mnangagwa’s sympathisers are hitting back when she least expects it.
Last week, they staged a peaceful demonstration in Chinhoyi, albeit without any police clearance.
Some of the placards read: “Sarah uri mbavha, Unoba (You are a thief Sarah); Sarah unonyepera Mai uchivabira, ibva hatichakudi (Sarah, you lie to the First Lady; you also steal from her — we don’t want you any more).”
Contacted for comment this week, Mahoka denied lying to the First Lady.
She also repudiated claims that she was stealing from her boss.
Mahoka is accusing some war veterans in Mashonaland West province of leading the onslaught on her character.
The fighters of the 1970s liberation war constitute a key constituency propping up Mnangagwa’s presidential ambitions.
It has been suggested before that Mahoka could have undermined the war veterans at some point, hence the bad blood between them.
Another accusation is that Mahoka has done very little for the people in her constituency, including the ex-freedom fighters.
“I do not understand where these accusations that I am lying to the First Lady are coming from. Maybe you should ask the First Lady,” said Mahoka.
The politician was adamant this week that she had done no wrong to antagonise the boisterous fighters of Zimbabwe’s bush war, teasing those who are eyeing her constituency to meet her at the next polls.
“I am not a war veteran and how can I undermine them, in what capacity? Those who are spreading lies about me saying that I have never done anything positive must face me during the forthcoming elections. In my constituency I will stand against real men not against people who want to waste my time. They must be prepared for real war to take over from me in Hurungwe East than abusing my name (simply) because I am a woman. Some men must learn to appreciate whatever is done by women rather than spreading rumours and lies about me,” said Mahoka.
There are also some in Hurungwe East who vouch for Mahoka that she has done a lot more than male legislators in the whole of Mashonaland West province.
Her supporters credit Mahoka for championing rural electrification programmes in Hurungwe and rehabilitating roads that had become impassable.
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