via Chaos consumes Zanu PF women’s league – DailyNews Live 26 November 2015
MUTARE – The Zanu PF women’s league in Manicaland is burning in line with the deadly factional and succession wars devouring the ruling party nationally, with bitterly-opposed factions in the troubled province now resorting to hiring thugs to harass their opponents, the Daily News has learnt.
A meeting of the league that was held at Queens Hall in Mutare on Monday to probe the debilitating fights for power that have consumed this key organ over the past few weeks also degenerated into complete chaos, amid fears of a looming bloodbath.
Among the senior party officials who attended the tumultuous meeting were the national women’s league deputy secretary Sandi Moyo, Masvingo resident minister Shuvai Mahofa, and a close ally of First Lady Grace Mugabe, Sarah Mahoka.
The team wanted to probe, among other things, allegations that have been levelled against national league spokesperson Monica Mutsvangwa that she participated in a recent irregular meeting in Mutare where regional women’s league boss Happiness Nyakuedzwa — who had been reported to have been ousted in a still-born vote of no confidence actively participated.
Nyakuedzwa, who is still under a cloud and is said to belong to the party faction that supports Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, marshalled her own votes of no confidence against those who had sought to oust her from power in the meeting that was attended by Mutsvangwa.
Insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said it was this background that gave rise to the chaotic scenes at Monday’s meeting, amid claims that Mnangagwa’s opponents had gone to the extent of hiring drunken thugs to destroy his allies at the gathering.
However, Nyakuedzwa — who apparently has the backing of the majority of the Women’s League in Manicaland — is also said to have bussed in dozens of her supporters “to match the firepower of the rival faction” which it was claimed was led by Letina Undenge, the wife of the party’s acting provincial chairman, Samuel Undenge.
“Undenge hired those people but it appears they did not have full information on what they were supposed to do because they ended up even wanting to assault her as well.
“Undenge is a national leader and I don’t know what she is doing trying to destabilise the provincial structure?” an emotional Nyakuedzwa charged when she was contacted by the Daily News.
She added that the “failed demonstration” against her and Mutsvangwa clearly showed that the rival faction had become desperate.
“If the issue was about my alleged disrespecting of the first lady, a crime that I’m till now yet to be formally charged with, then where are all these other claims that the hired people were talking about coming from?
“It only shows how desperate Undenge and (Nokuthula) Matsikenyere are, and unfortunately they are dragging the name of the first lady in all this to prop up their personal ambitions for power,” Nyakuedzwa fumed further.
Other witnesses at the chaotic meeting claimed that Undenge’s group had started the ensuing anarchy by throwing insults at Nyakuedzwa to the effect that she was a concubine to former Presidential Affairs minister Dydimus Mutasa.
Repeated efforts by the Daily News to reach Undenge yesterday failed, as she was not picking her cellphone.
But speaking after the Monday meeting, Sandi Moyo told State media that Mutsvangwa had a case to answer. However, other women’s league members who attended the meeting denied knowledge of such a resolution.
“I think time has come where each one of us must account for her actions because if we fail to do so, things will get out of hand. People lose respect for their leaders and we cannot allow that.
“I am therefore saying things cannot be left unresolved. I am setting up a commission of about four to five people who will have to go and find out how things happened there and why the first lady’s name was dragged into factional issues.
“First of all, it’s a worry she (Mutsvangwa) participated in the second meeting which was illegal. That alone tells us that there is a case for her to answer,” Sandi Moyo was quoted saying.
But women’s league national secretary for administration Esphinah Nhari denied that such a resolution was ever made.
“We do not know about that issue. We feel ashamed because as the women’s league we have got a way of approaching the media and we do not know how that issue came to the media.
“The fact is, we never agreed on that and the minutes of the meeting are there for all to see,” she said.
“I am totally surprised and it shows there is a hidden agenda. We spent most of the time arguing. Where did this resolution come from? She simply wanted to dictate to us and this resolution never existed unless she went and talked with the secretary (Amai Mugabe) without our knowledge,” Mahofa, who is national secretary for security, said.