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Relentless and vengeful ED: Zapu – NewsDay

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

The legacy continued last week when Mnangagwa rejected calls for former Bulawayo provincial affairs minister Eunice Sandi Moyo to be granted hero 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.

He was granted a state-assisted funeral, unlike his former colleagues in the politburo and the Zanu PF government.

Speaking at Sandi Moyo’s funeral at the Bulawayo Amphitheater before her burial at Lady Stanley Cemetery in Bulawayo on Wednesday this week, Zapu general secretary Mthulisi Hanana said the party’s legacy would not be complete without the inclusion of the contribution of unwavering nationalists like her.

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

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“This proves beyond a doubt that the so-called Second Republic is as ruthless, vengeful and anti-Zapu as the First Republic. Zapu veterans seem to be overlooked even as they overshadow those who overlook them,” he said.

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

“I admired his determination to advance the cause of the former Zapu and Zipra, his desire for the development of our country and his patriotism.

“She was clear that when they were young they fought for the country and my generation must also 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 died before him, he should tell the truth at her funeral, Hanana said. ”But in our country, where there is a Patriot Act, one wonders what the price of truth is. Is there freedom of expression or freedom after expression?

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

“No one should ever be allowed to dismiss Sandi Moyo’s contribution, whatever the reason. She worked for this country.

“She followed in the footsteps of revolutionary women like Amai Ruth Nyamuwa, who was denied heroine status in the 1980s.

“She followed in the footsteps of Umama uThenjiwe Lesabe, who was also, although a nationalist, 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 granted hero status.

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

“We cannot continue to disrespect our icons in this way. We cannot continue to thank the government for state-assisted funerals as if that money is Zanu PF’s while it is the country’s money and we should all benefit,” Hanana said.

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

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

“Tell your father Mnangagwa he is too bitter now. Why is our mother denied the hero status she deserves? Why are the commanders of the Fifth Brigade declared National Heroes and our mother, who never fought against her people, is not?

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

Meanwhile, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube said Sandi Moyo’s death was a great loss to the province and Zimbabwe as a whole.

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

“She lived a life of purpose (and) let us have a culture of forgiveness. As the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo said, as a nation, in order to move forward, we must 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 life began in 2016, when she fell out with the Zanu PF leadership after being accused of belonging to a faction led by former vice president Joice Mujuru.

The faction was allegedly plotting to remove Mugabe from power and the Women’s League demanded his removal for undermining the authority of Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

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

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

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


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