BULAWAYO – Former Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister and top Zanu PF politician Eunice Sandi-Moyo died at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Thursday.

She was 78.

Family confirmed the one time close ally to late former President Robert Mugabe and struggle veteran succumbed to hypertension following a long battle with the condition.

“We are devastated that mom is gone, but comforted by the fact that she was there for us all as a mother, not for us alone, but as a country,” her daughter Phoebe said.

“We are proud of her life and the service she rendered to her country. While on national service, she did her duties with diligence and honour.

“Mom did a lot for the country and we are glad that she was there to see our achievements. She did not sacrifice for us alone, but for many others.”

Current Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Judith Ncube, led tributes over the passing of her predecessor whom she described as a struggle icon.

“Her passing on early today was hard to accept,” she told state media Thursday.

“I am informing Bulawayo that our mother, sister, and grandmother is no more, she has gone to be with the Lord and more now than ever, her family needs all our support for they have certainly been left without a shade,” Ncube said.

“It’s now time as uBulawayo to show Ubuntu bethu, it is never easy for any family to lose a pillar of strength, but sadly Sandi-Moyo’s family has been visited by this undesirable experience and it’s us who can comfort them.”

Zanu PF politburo member and former cabinet minister, Retired Colonel Tshinga Dube, said the one time party heavyweight “worked closely with the likes of the late Jane Ngwenya, Angeline Masuku and when she was one of the assistants to Joshua Nkomo in the offices.”

“After independence, we all know she became a governor for Bulawayo and worked for the party. Sandi Moyo worked hard for her country before and after independence. Despite what happened later, what is crucial is that her contribution to her country will always be remembered.”

The Plumtree born politician worked as a teacher in the early stages of her adult life, going on to teach taught at several schools in Bulilima-Mangwe before joining active politics during the while colonial regime.

She would later join the city council as an employee before leaving for Zambia to join the liberation struggle under ZPRA, later representing ZAPU including forming the delegation to the Lancaster House conference which culminated in Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

Moyo’s political career docked 2016 when she was linked to former vice president Joice Mujuru’s faction which was accused of a plot to remove Mugabe from his position.

She was one of the founder members of the National Patriotic Front in 2018, formed by Mugabe loyalists after he was ousted in a military coup.

She is survived by four daughters and a son. Mourners are gathered at House Number 17 Onslow Road, Sunninghill Suburb in Bulawayo.