ED unforgiving, vindictive: Zapu

The legacy continued last week when Mnangagwa snubbed calls for former Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo to be accorded a heroine status for her role in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration is unforgiving and vindictive, continuing the legacy left by his predecessor the late Robert Mugabe of holding grudges against adversaries, a senior Zimbabwe African People’s Union (Zapu) leader has said.

The legacy continued last week when Mnangagwa snubbed calls for former Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo to be accorded a heroine status for her role in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.

Sandi-Moyo died at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Thursday last week after a long battle with hypertension, aged 78.

She was accorded a State-assisted funeral unlike her former colleagues in the Zanu PF politburo and government.

Speaking at Sandi Moyo’s memorial service at the Bulawayo Amphitheatre before her burial at Lady Stanley cemetery in Bulawayo on Wednesday this week, Zapu secretary-general Mthulisi Hanana said the party’s legacy would not be complete without inclusion of the contribution of unflinching nationalists like her.

“It is unfortunate that our mother is being denied her rightful status simply because she held different views with powers that be.

“This proves beyond doubt that the so-called second republic is as unforgiving, vindictive and anti-Zapu as the first republic. Zapu veterans seem to be overlooked even where they dwarf those who overlook them,” he said.

He said Zapu was the party whose freedom call Sandi Moyo heeded when she left the country in 1975 to join the liberation struggle.

“I admired her determination for advancing the cause of former Zapu and Zipra, her desire for the development of our country and her patriotism.

“She was clear that when they were young they fought for the country and my generation too must do the same. In 2019, I spoke at the funeral of  Dumiso Dabengwa [late Zapu leader], after which she [Sandi Moyo] asked me to speak at her funeral.

Sandi Moyo insisted that if she dies before him, he should speak the truth at her funeral, Hanana said. ”But in our country, where there is a Patriot Act, one wonders what the price of the truth is. Is there freedom of speech or freedom after speech?”

Hanana said the struggle for independence was not an easy one and very few women had the courage that Sandi Moyo had.

“The contribution of Sandi Moyo must never be allowed to be wished away by anyone for whatever reason. She worked for this country.

“She walked in the footsteps of women revolutionaries like Amai Ruth Nyamurowa who was denied heroine status in the 1980s.

“She followed the footsteps of Umama uThenjiwe Lesabe, who also, albeit being a nationalist, was denied heroine status,” Hanana said.

He challenged the Zanu PF-led government to explain why people like Border Gezi and musician Soul Jah Love were accorded heroes’ status.

“Maybe it makes sense to you elders, but I represent the younger generation of Zapu that refuses to see sense in such things.

“We cannot continue to have our icons being disrespected like this. We cannot continue to thank government for State assisted funerals as if that money is from Zanu PF while it is the country's money and we must all benefit,” Hanana said.

He also questioned how some of their former Zapu colleagues were working with Zanu PF politicians.

“We ask ourselves that those who were Zapu why are they quiet while things go wrong? We are tired of hearing that Mnangagwa has said this or that.

“Tell your father Mnangagwa that he is too bitter now. Why is our mother being the denied the heroine status that she deserves? Why are 5th Brigade commanders declared National Heroes and our mother who never fought her people, is not?”

He said Sandi Moyo’s snub was the reason former members should rejoin Zapu.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Judith Ncube said Sandi Moyo's death was a huge loss for the province and Zimbabwe at large.

“As a city and the country we are grateful to her service and sacrifices and that is why we are grateful to President Mnangagwa for honouring her as well.

“She lived a purposeful life (and) let us have a culture of forgiveness. Just like the late Vice-President Joshua Nkomo said, as a nation in order for us to go forward, we need to forgive each other,” Ncube said.

Zanu PF politburo member Tshinga Dube described Sandi Moyo as an extraordinary woman who fought for the liberation of the country and the emancipation of women.

Sandi Moyo’s turbulent political live started in 2016 when she fell out with Zanu PF leadership after being accused of belonging to faction led by former Vice-President Joice Mujuru.

The faction was allegedly plotting to oust Mugabe from power and the Women’s League demanded her ouster for undermining of the authority of Mugabe’s wife Grace.

Sandi Moyo was dismissed from Zanu PF before losing her parliamentary seat due to her alleged links to the G40 faction.

In 2018, she became one of the founding members of the National Patriotic Front, a group formed by Mugabe loyalists after his ouster in a military coup in November 2017.

Sandi Moyo is survived by four children, three daughters and one son, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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