HARARE – Forthright Zanu PF women’s league secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka, has launched another frontal attack on embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, suggesting that the Midlands godfather will never ascend to the presidency because he allegedly lacks a social base.
The sharp-tongued Mahoka also all but accused Mnangagwa — among a litany of other thinly-disguised charges — of working feverishly to topple President Robert Mugabe from power.
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters yesterday, at her latest no-holds-barred rally at Chikangwe Stadium in Karoi, Mahoka said pointedly that all senior party officials who were angling to succeed Mugabe would “definitely be disappointed”.
Although Mahoka did not mention Mnangagwa by name throughout her address, she left little to the imagination that the beleaguered VP was the main target of her attack.
“There are people who mislead some of our leaders that they have people and supporters when they have nothing. They want to lead when our president is still around. Down with them. We have only one president, VaMugabe chete (only),” she said.
Mnangagwa suffered the indignity of addressing a virtually empty Rufaro Stadium on Workers Day — leading his Zanu PF enemies to mockingly claim that he was unelectable as he allegedly had no social base.
“They (Zanu PF bigwigs) also go about saying Mugabe is old, yet they are as old as him, probably two years’ difference,” she said — also in apparent reference to Mnangagwa, who says he was born on September 15, 1942.
“They should go first. Others hold secret meetings in offices that they were given by Mugabe. They should be warned that the women’s league is coming to destroy them,” she added.
Zanu PF officials opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe claim that his age and liberation struggle credentials are among the many things about him that “don’t add up”.
One of the VP’s detractors who spoke to the Daily News recently said it was a fact that Mnangagwa had escaped the hangman’s noose in Rhodesia in 1965, because he had been under 21 years of age then — which meant that he could not have been born in 1942.
Mahoka, who was recently reported to have had a hit ordered against her on the alleged account of her regularly skinning the embattled VP, has said she is not intimidated by the claims of the plot to kill her, adding that she is “ready to die for Mugabe and his powerful wife Grace”.
Yesterday she also moved to rubbish the push by war veterans aligned to Mnangagwa to dethrone Zanu PF national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, from his position.
“Some say Tyson (Kasukuwere) cannot be political commissar and that the post must be held by war vets. They are dreaming. They should know that they are a mere association who have no power to dictate to the party,” Mahoka said.
The disgruntled war veterans recently made presentations to Mugabe, during their Harare indaba with the nonagenarian last month, where they called for the complete overhaul of the commissariat department, saying it should be led by a person with liberation war credentials.
Mahoka also alleged that there was an ongoing harassment of women in the provinces, which she said was a desperate bid by Mnangagwa’s supporters to stop the women’s league from agitating for the elevation of a woman into the presidium.
The claim comes as the women’s league, supported by Mnangagwa’s avowed party enemies, the Generation 40 group, has stepped up its demands for the return of the women’s quota system in the party, which will see Mugabe appointing a woman as one of his two deputies — a move that is said to be targeted at demoting Mnangagwa.
Zanu PF women’s league deputy secretary Eunice Sandi-Moyo also took the opportunity to heap praises on Mugabe and Grace at yesterday’s rally in Karoi.
“There are people who say Dr Amai (Grace) is wrong, that she attacks others at rallies, but at heart she is an angel. She easily forgives and we must emulate her.
“The party cannot be strong without the women’s league because we hold the keys to development. Some say there is too much infighting in the party, yet we will be helping each other run the party, redirecting those who may have lost the way.
“What we know is we have only one president. He is the one we chose. We went to war as war vets not for positions, but to liberate the country. Those who are yearning for leadership renewal are dreaming. We will be supporting the youths in their million-man march to support our president,” the Bulawayo Provincial minister of State said.
When it was Kasukuwere’s turn to speak, he attacked former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa, who now leads the pressure group Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (Yard), saying the former Hurungwe West legislator “has nothing to offer” to youths.
“Youths, don’t follow Mliswa. He has nothing to offer except stammering. We will take his farm and make it into residential stands for our people,” he warned ominously.
“You started a fight against Zanu PF, and so we will show you that your fist is smaller. You are only good at talking. Do not follow his Yard because it’s a backyard,” Kasukuwere added, urging Zanu PF supporters not to also back Joice Mujuru’s Zimbabwe People First (ZPF).
“Do not follow ZPF, they are ‘People Fired’. It’s a case of sour grapes, they have nothing new to offer,” he said.