'Victim of political machinations,' says Zimbabwe VP amid sex scandal
Zimbabwe Vice-President Kembo Mohadi (71) has alleged a conspiracy to tarnish his image in the midst of a sex scandal. In a statement on Wednesday, Mohadi dismissed the allegations that he was involved in illicit relationships with two married women, including his subordinate. Recordings of purported phone calls between Mohadi and the women had recently gone viral on social media. Here are more details.
Mohadi—who had previously made headlines after a nasty divorce with ex-wife Tambudzani—addressed the media at his Munhumutapa office on Wednesday. According to Newsday, Mohadi said, "Despite the noise in digital media ecologies, I wish to clearly state that I am innocent and a victim of political machinations being peddled through hacking and voice cloning." He said his right to privacy had been infringed upon.
Mohadi said his political detractors have been peddling lies against him. "Despite growing impatient because of the weird character assassination, I wish to categorically state that allegations being leveled against me are not only false, but well-choreographed to demean, condescend, and soil my image as a national leader and patriot," he said, adding that he remains committed to continue serving the nation.
The scandal was exposed after online publication ZimLive reported on how Mohadi allegedly lured different young women for sex, sometimes in his office. Alleged phone recordings revealed his sexual relations with his married subordinate. They also revealed his relationship with another woman, whose marriage has reportedly collapsed since. In one clip, a man—purported to be Mohadi—is heard telling a woman: "We will just f***."
The Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe said in a statement, "Due to the power dynamics of the parties involved, this has compelled calls for investigations on possibilities of sexual harassment within the office of the Vice-President." The statement added, "The handling of this case determines the country's willingness to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace and give victims and survivors hope."
In his statement, Mohadi also praised the support he has received since the scandal emerged by his fellow "colleagues and comrades who fully grasped the rigid complexities of concocted enemy attacks." Notably, the permanent secretary in the Information Ministry, Nick Mangwana, had defended Mohadi's actions saying that members of the public should not concern themselves on issues where consenting adults were involved.
Further, Mohadi's lawyers threatened to sue the news publications that broke the sex scandal story. "We are definitely working on something (in relation to the lawsuit). We exercise restraint in disclosing further details," Mohadi's lawyer Norman Mugiya reportedly said on Wednesday.