ZANU PF politburo member, and Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni yesterday dismissed as lies claims by her party’s Matabeleland North provincial treasurer Stars Mathe that she was dividing people in Nkayi by conducting programmes without alerting the party.
Mathe said at a Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial co-ordinating committee (PCC) meeting at the weekend that Nyoni had released her vehicles to conduct women’s empowerment programmes.
But Nyoni said she released one vehicle to members of the provincial women’s league in the district upon request, adding that the structure went on to fuel the car using its own funds.
“Let me categorically state that what Stars (Mathe) is saying is a lie. I was in India when the programme was being done,” Nyoni said.
“Members of the provincial women’s league in the district approached me with their plan and asked for assistance with a vehicle and I gave them. They fuelled that vehicle.”
Nyoni said Mathe was not in the provincial women’s league, but in the main wing and it was uncalled for, for her to interfere in the structure’s programmes.
“What she is doing is illegal. The women’s league is a structure on its own. It can inform the main wing, but has programmes of its own. Joana Ncube is the leader of the women’s league in the district and not Stars,” she said.
“She was just being malicious. You do not lead by coercing people to follow you. She is trying to coerce people to follow her. Stars is in the main wing and not the women’s league.”
Mathe, a losing Nkayi South National Assembly candidate in last year’s elections, alleged at the PCC meeting that Nyoni’s teams had been sent to 16 wards in the constituency, but the programme was not communicated to anyone.
The former Cowdray Park councillor said she contacted provincial chairperson Richard Moyo and the women’s league boss Medeline Bhebhe who both professed ignorance of the programme. Mathe said her investigations revealed that the programme was funded from Nkayi North.
“President (Robert) Mugabe said in an interview before his birthday that elders should let the provinces run party programmes, but we have elders who fund programmes and vehicles unknown to the party because they wear the jacket of being politburo member,” Mathe said at the meeting.
Moyo and party provincial secretary for administration Clifford Sibanda said they had heard about the matter and asked Bhebhe to deal with it.