Mugabe stolen cows: Mutasa nails Zanu PF bosses

MUTARE - Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa yesterday described two top party officials accused of stealing beasts meant for President Robert Mugabe’s party as friends, before nailing them in a court case that attracts a minimum nine-year prison stint.

Largely viewed as a Mugabe loyalist in the fractious Zanu PF party, Mutasa was on the offensive yesterday as the trial of top provincial officials Mike Madiro and Dorothy Mabika on charges of stealing 10 Mugabe beasts opened in this eastern border city.

The livestock case, together with that of Madiro being accused of looting close to $1 million donated by diamond companies to Zanu PF, could open a can of worms and expose shenanigans within the party.

Police are believed to have concluded investigations in the diamond cash looting case, which might come before the courts soon, sources said.

But all attention was at proceedings at the Mutare Magistrates’ Courts, with dozens thronging the court to catch a glimpse of the action — the star being Mutasa who was nailing Madiro and Mabika.

Madiro, suspended from his position as provincial party chair following the diamond cash loot report, is pleading political persecution — a defence saliently pointing to factionalism playing out in court.

Madiro was a key player in the 2004 Tsholotsho debacle described by Mugabe as a coup plot by a group aligned to Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and, at that time, serial political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo.

While Moyo is reportedly no longer in Mnangagwa’s camp, although Madiro is believed to be still a protégé.
However, Mutasa told presiding magistrate Lucy Mungwari that he had nothing against Madiro and Mabika, who both pleaded their innocence in court.

Their lawyer Tinofara Hove suggested the two were being persecuted for political reasons.

Before court proceedings started, Mutasa shook hands with the two, then went on to pin them before a court packed with party supporters, journalists and ordinary people just keen to witness Zanu PF provincial gurus tearing each other apart publicly.

“It is not political victimisation,” said Mutasa, who is appearing as a State witness.

“But it is the wrong they did which is now being brought to justice by the courts. Both are my friends, and I believe we relate well together,” he added.

He said the two committed an offence by converting property meant for Mugabe’s party for their personal use.

The beasts were supposed to be slaughtered for Mugabe’s 88th birthday bash held at Mutare’s Sakubva Stadium last year.

“The party expects accountability and to be informed of what its members are doing for the party, in particular on the issue of leftovers after the celebrations of President Mugabe’s birthday and the 21st February Movement.

“It would be a serious offence to divert the use of the procured cattle for some other events other than the 21st February Movement which the 10 (beasts) had been sought for,” said Mutasa.

The 21st February Movement is a Zanu PF wing named after Mugabe’s birthday and is in charge of organising the yearly parties.

When Hove pointed out to Mutasa that the cattle were at a Farm in Middle Sabi, Mutasa said the beasts were supposed to have been surrendered back.

He said the fact that three beasts had been slaughtered without his authority was a crime on its own.

“If the provincial executive made up of two individuals decides to slaughter cattle that do not belong to them, it would be an offence.

“Only I can authorise the conversion of leftovers from our functions and I did not. We should have been informed about the whereabouts of these beasts and would have informed His Excellency about the presence of the cattle at John Chirimambowa’s farm.

“They are not being kept there but they are being hidden at that place,” said Mutasa, leaving the court in stitches. Chirimambowa is a party official who “donated” the beasts.

Mutasa took a dig at Hove, who had insinuated that he was not the secretary-general of Zanu PF but a mere secretary for administration.

“It’s all the same and if you are not aware of the similarity it’s not our fault,” Mutasa shot back, refusing to answer a question from the defence lawyer on why he failed to make a subsequent police report of stock theft against the two after learning of the missing cattle.

Zanu PF national youth boss, Absalom Sikhosana, who is in charge of the 21st February Movement, also testified.

He stated that he was not aware of the political dynamics in Manicaland Province and would not comment on factions.

He said he had only heard of the factions but had no first-hand experience of the factionalism.

Sikhosana said he was not intimately involved with Madiro and Mabika during the preparations for the birthday bash but had worked with suspended youth chairperson Tawanda Mukodza.

Mukodza, like Madiro, has been suspended from his post because of alleged links to the missing diamond cash.

Sikhosana said he had “stumbled on the missing presidential cattle” when he was informed about police investigations into missing funds donated to the party by companies in Mutare. - Sydney Saize

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.