By Staff Reporter
OUTSPOKEN former Mashonaland West Zanu PF chairman, Temba Mliswa says the late Hurungwe East legislator, Sarah Mahoka, deserved interment at the Mashonaland West Provincial Heroes Acre for her sterling contributions to the ruling party.
Mahoka (60) died in a car accident last Thursday and was laid to rest at her Mnandi farm Monday at a low-key burial snubbed by Zanu PF top brass.
Mliswa, who is Norton independent lawmaker, said having served the party in different capacities, the late Hurungwe East MP deserved a place at the provincial shrine.
Mliswa said: “She was in the Women’s League national executive as finance secretary, in the Zanu PF central committee, she was a Member of Parliament and chairlady. It is one’s CV (curriculum vitae) that must speak, not that she sold out. Sarah never sold out.”
Mahoka, a self-confessed Grade Two school dropout, was at one time ex-first lady Grace Mugabe’s blue-eyed ally as a spirited campaign was waged to stop then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendancy.
In an infamous attack on then presidential aspirant at Zanu PF headquarters in Harare, Mahoka denigrated Mnangagwa calling him a lame duck while urging Mugabe to fire him from the vice president post.
“Those were internal differences within the party, but sadly it’s up to those in power at that time how they take it. But were they also not part of a faction, so why hate another faction and say they had sold out? Give Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, acknowledge what she did,” said Mliswa.
He described Mahoka as a hardworking politician who had the ability to mobilise supporters and an astute strategist who won many battles and lost some.
He acknowledged learning political strategies from the late Mahoka whom he said harboured no grudges.
Zanu PF ostracised Mahoka and treated her unfairly, Mliswa said.
“When the Gamatox thing came in, they frustrated her. Like anybody else, people deal differently with frustration. She worked with the first lady as the golden girl. Who wouldn’t want to work with the first lady?” said Mliswa.
Mahoka created many enemies due to her proximity with Grace Mugabe.
Added Mliswa: “She was later accused of crimes she never committed, G40 and all that, its very sad. Sarah was frustrated at the end of the day. I always said she must come back.”
Mliswa said despite her fall out with Mnangagwa, Mahoka still hoped to mend relations and work for the good of the Second Republic.
“She would call me to say ‘how do we help our brother ED Mnangagwa, how can we help bhudhi?’ That was Sarah, still wanted to help at the end of the day. I didn’t want her to pass away with such a record when nobody is able to tell the truth about what she did for Zanu PF,” said the former Zanu PF provincial chairman.
“The sad part is you go with the label you were a sell-out. She deserves to be a provincial hero, there are no two ways about it.”
The fatal crash that killed Mahoka occurred around 9pm at Buffalo Downs, just three kilometres away from her Mnandi farm.
A G40 arch matriarch viciously opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding late former president Robert Mugabe, Mahoka later fell out of favour with former first lady after she reportedly embezzled donations meant for Grace Mugabe’s divisive national tours.
Following Mnangagwa’s rise to power, the former legislator was fired from Zanu PF and tried to revive her career contesting the parliamentary seat on an opposition National Patriotic Front (NPF) ticket but lost.
The late Sanyati-born politician was now living a quiet life concentrating on farming.