AILING Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister, Shuvai Ben Mahofa (pictured), who last year left the Zanu PF conference in a huff as she rushed to seek treatment in South Africa after allegedly eating poisoned food, this year resolved not to leave anything to chance as she avoided eating food served at the ruling party’s just-ended conference in Masvingo.
BY TATENDA CHITAGU
Mahofa last year spent nearly three months in a private South African hospital, and only resumed her duties in April this year.
But, close family members dismissed the food poisoning narrative as false, saying she had a chronic heart and kidney problem.
At this year’s conference held at the Masvingo showgrounds, Mahofa was often seen driving home each time food was being served in the VVIP tent.
Sources said this time around she was not leaving anything to chance after last year’s incident and chose to play it safe.
Mahofa, dubbed the Iron Lady of Masvingo, set tongues wagging ahead of the party’s conference last year after she rejected First Lady Grace Mugabe’s presidential bid, saying she only recognised her as the Women’s League chairperson and wife of the President.
This time around, Mahofa seemed to have changed tact, as she waxed lyrical and heaped praises on the First Lady during her introductory remarks.
“Amai Dr Grace Mugabe, our beautiful first secretary of the women’s league…last year, if it was not for Dr Grace Mugabe, the country could have gone. It should go into the history of Zimbabwe that Amai and the women’s league returned the country in 10 days, that is true whether you like it or not,” she said in an apparent reference to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s alleged plot to dethrone President Robert Mugabe in 2014.
Grace is locked in a bitter succession war with Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction — to which Mahofa reportedly belongs — to replace Mugabe, who is now in his twilight years.