Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Shuvai Mahofa, hospitalised on suspicion of food poisoning allegedly by fellow MP and Grace Mugabe ally Sarah Mahoka at the recently-ended Zanu PF national conference held in Victoria Falls, is still recuperating at home and has been granted sick leave, Zanu PF insiders have said.
Although Mahofa could not be reached for comment as her mobile phone has been constantly switched off, Southern Eye established that she did not report for duty yesterday, as her subordinates saying she was on leave.
Masvingo provincial administrator Felix Chikovo could also not be reached for comment, as he was said to be out of the office.
A fortnight ago, government officials denied reports that Mahofa had been poisoned, saying she had had a malaria attack.
Mahofa’s daughter Nyengeterai also denied food poisoning claims, saying: “She is out of hospital. She is actually watching television. I don’t know about those allegations and I am truly surprised at that. We, the children, don’t know of the alleged food poisoning.”
Last year, Mahofa had her office shifted to the ground floor at Benjamin Burombo Building when she was appointed Provincial Affairs minister, as she could not climb up the stairs.
She said President Robert Mugabe appointed her to the powerful post in the province because of the trust he has in her, even though she struggles to stand up.
In these Zanu PF succession battles a woman, named as Catherine Magaya, was reportedly treated in the intensive care unit of a private Harare hospital in 2014 after she entered Mnangagwa’s office at the ruling Zanu-PF headquarters and fell ill, the official Herald newspaper reported. It followed reports that claimed that assassins tried to kill his new deputy by sprinkling poisonous powder on his desk.