MASVINGO — Despite not having fully recovered, Provincial Affairs Minister Shuvai Mahofa reportedly assumed duty simply because she feared losing her job after fierce jostling for her position erupted during her prolonged absence from work.
Mahofa had been absent from work since December last year due to illness.
She was hospitalised due to suspected food poisoning soon after ZANU-PF’s conference held in Victoria Falls last year.
ZANU-PF members in the province had begun angling to replace her, arguing that her absence was impeding government business, suggesting she was no longer fit to hold public office.
But last Sunday, Mahofa made her first public appearance at the party’s provincial coordinating committee meeting held at Victoria Junior Primary School.
Walking around with the aid of a four-wheeled walker (walking frame), she indeed looked quiet unwell.
As she entered the hall from her car parked just besides the door where the meeting was held, she had to take a rest before proceeding to take her seat.
If was quite clear from the way she walked and her physical appearance that she is yet to fully recover.
Heavily guarded, Mahofa could not be drawn into commenting on her health condition as her aides said she was not in a position to talk to the press.
ZANU-PF insiders, however, said “the Iron Lady of Masvingo” had to report for duty fearing a palace coup from fellow party members who were strategically positioning themselves and seeking favours from the powers-that-be for a possible replacement.
“There were people in the party who thought she will fail to recuperate, or worse still, because she appears to have fallen out with some in the party.
“So they thought they would be the right candidates(to replace her) and have been burning the proverbial midnight oil, canvassing for her job,” said a ZANU-PF insider.
“Imagine how heartless they are; they were plotting all this while she was bedridden.”
The jostling had intensified following the split of the provincial executive into two after the suspension of chairperson, Ezra Chadzamira, by national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, last month.
Chadzamira, linked to a faction sympathetic to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, was suspended for disobedience and insolence. He was replaced by Amassa Nenjani, in acting capacity.
Nenjani is believed to be linked to a ZANU-PF faction known as Generation 40 or G40.
At his 92nd birthday celebrations, President Robert Mugabe urged party supporters to pray for Mahofa’s speedy recovery.
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