Jeffrey Muvundusi 5 July 2017
BULAWAYO – Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo’s future in
President Robert Mugabe’s government hangs in the balance after pressure
was brought to bear on her to resign from her position in the powerful
Zanu PF women’s league.
Zanu PF insiders said Sandi-Moyo’s position in government became untenable
because of the gravity of the allegations that were levelled against her
and it was just a matter of time before she was shown the exits.
It has been three months since she was savagely dethroned from her post of
deputy secretary for the women’s league and replaced by Thokozile
Mathuthu, also the deputy minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting
Before her removal, members of the women’s league had demonstrated against
Sandi-Moyo, and the organ’s secretary for finance, Sarah Mahoka, accusing
the duo of undermining the authority of the First Lady, Grace Mugabe, who
Both were also accused of abusing the First Lady’s name to source for
donations without her permission.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo has been on record saying a report
would be made to the police if Mahoka and Sandi-Moyo don’t make amends.
Sandi-Moyo and Mahoka have been adamant that their hands were clean and
have no apologies to make.
While Sandi-Moyo was humbled to a card-carrying member of Zanu PF, she has
kept her ministerial post, complete with its feather beddings, such as a
government house and a ministerial vehicle.
Analysts this week said her future in government was now sorely in the
hands of Mugabe, who seems to be waiting for an opportune moment to
reshuffle his Cabinet and make some adjustments to his line-up.
Ever since her fallout with members of the women’s league, Sandi-Moyo, has
been flying under the radar, with the public media shying away from
reporting on her activities.
Analysts this week said this was a sure sign that she was now serving at
the mercy of her appointing authority who might pull the plug on her at
any given time.
Anglistone Sibanda, an analyst, cast aspersions on Sandi-Moyo’s survival,
arguing the chances were very slim.
“It was always coming that she was going to lose, since she was against
the first lady. I honestly do not see her surviving,” Sibanda said.
“If she does, it will be at the benevolence of Mugabe himself playing
tribal sympathy to former Zapu and Ndebele leaders and even that will
create a legitimacy crisis for her,” he said.
Sibanda said what complicated Sandi-Moyo’s case is that she has lost
support from the presidium.
“She is already facing a worst scenario because she has lost a
constituency that is influential and it is a given that she is likely to
lose her Cabinet post however, that is decided by Mugabe himself as the
president, who has the prerogative to appoint and dismiss.”
Church leader, Ray Motsi, also concurred that Sandi-Moyo’s survival is
hinged on Mugabe’s benevolence.
“The survival of anybody in politics normally depends on the capacity or
resolve as an individual, but if Sandi-Moyo collapses it means that she
was a nobody except that she was propped up by certain people who are also
now behind her downfall.
“What this means is that she is minister on the whims of the president
hence he has the last say. But what I am saying is her stay or departure
speaks a lot about her political stature as an individual,” Motsi said.
Analyst Samukele Hadebe, added that considering the fact that almost all
positions in government have been traditionally backed by party positions,
it was unlikely that Sandi-Moyo would survive.
“It is unlikely that she is going to survive. It’s unfortunate that she
has been removed from her party position and considering that all
ministers serve at the pleasure of Mugabe, it’s going to be difficult for
her to keep the position,” Hadebe said.
“As a result, I don’t foresee her being in that position for long.”
Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo, pointed out that Sandi-Moyo’s fate will
be decided along factional lines playing out in Zanu PF, which is split
between the Generation 40 (G40) and Team Lacoste camps.
At the time of the demonstrations against her and Mahoka, Team Lacoste
drew out knives against Sandi-Moyo, who enjoyed pockets of support in G40.
But when it became clear that the first family had turned its back against
her, even the few in G40 who were behind her, buckled to pressure.
“It really depends on how she positions herself and which of the two or
three Zanu PF factions emerge victorious,” he said.
“She can play the right card by keeping quiet and appearing mature and
politically astute,” Nkomo said, adding that, “it’s difficult to figure
because anything is possible in politics and all things are possible in
Zimbabwean politics, especially in Zanu PF where a day is like a thousand
years and a thousand years like a day as the Bible puts it”.
“The problem is that she may be perceived as a threat within the ambit of
the presidency or at least the vice presidency because she is one of the
most senior former PF Zapu officials in Zanu PF and she is a woman who can
position her for the vice presidency possibly to counter vice president
Phelekezela Mphoko,” Nkomo said.