Zanu PF in a fix over Mutasa

HARARE - There is apparently serious disagreement among Zanu PF hardliners on how to deal with the dissenting former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, a factor that may have caused President Robert Mugabe to unexpectedly postpone action against him at Wednesday’s politburo meeting in Harare.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News yesterday that while some of the hawks were agitating for Mutasa’s summary dismissal from the party — as had happened with former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda and former spokesperson Rugare Gumbo — others were not sure that this would serve the warring party’s interests.

“Nyati’s (Mutasa’s) case is proving to be a hot potato, with even Mugabe himself unsure of how he should proceed, hence the decision to postpone any planned action against him until the party is sure how things might pan out.

“Even the weevils (hardliners) are not agreed among themselves on how to proceed on the matter and were therefore not able to assist the president, who has had a close relationship with Nyati over the years, with a definitive position on him as he (Mutasa) also knows so much about the party and its leaders,” one of the sources said.

Another senior party official said it was clear that Zanu PF had now learnt its lesson from the way it had bungled the cases of Gumbo, Sibanda and the party provincial chairpersons who had been irregularly ousted from their positions.

“This (handling of Mutasa’s case is the way to go as no matter the allegations members face, the party needs to bring the concerned people before proper internal disciplinary processes before such people are fired willy-nilly like was done before congress.

“What this all means as well is that Mutasa has proven that he has a valid case at law which even president Mugabe recognises. What remains to be seen now is how both the party and Mutasa will move from here and what it will mean for everyone,” the official said.

The comments by the officials to the Daily News followed Mugabe’s unexpected decision on Wednesday to set up a six-member national disciplinary committee (NDC) to look into Mutasa’s alleged misdemeanours, amid calls by some party hawks such as Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri and Saviour Kasukuwere to have him expelled from the party forthwith.

The disciplinary committee, to be chaired by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, includes politburo members Patrick Chinamasa, Kasukuwere, Kembo Mohadi, Mugabe’s wife Grace, and Pupurai Togarepi.

Addressing the media after the politburo meeting, party secretary for information and publicity, Simon Khaya Moyo, said the committee was advised to “expeditiously” deal with Mutasa’s case, although no concrete timetable for this was given.

Commenting on the matter yesterday, the outspoken Gumbo pooh-poohed the suggestion that Mutasa would be dragged before what he called “an illegal disciplinary committee”.

“How can he be dragged to a disciplinary committee by people who are illegal, those are their ideas, some of the people who have been included in the disciplinary committee have already made statements on Mutasa and it does not make sense.

“Anyway that is the way they operate,” Gumbo said.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of political think tank Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said the failure by Zanu PF to expel Mutasa, as championed by hardliners, not only demonstrated disunity in the ruling party, but also the fact that Mugabe, who he said had a soft spot for Mutasa, was in charge.

“Zanu PF will never be a democratic party. The difference though between Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo or Jabulani Sibanda, who were summarily dismissed from the party, is that the (disputed December) congress is over and the cabal running Zanu PF is now comfortable and wants to consolidate power.

“Another thing is that Mutasa is not a pushover as a former minister of State Security.  He has lots of State secrets and knows the criminal architecture of the State under Zanu PF,” Ruhanya said.

“Mugabe has a soft spot for Mutasa, look at the pre-congress phase where he was trying to remove him from the Mujuru camp even when he knew the truth.  There is thus a disconnect between the Gang of Four and Mugabe.

“The outcome of the politburo meeting also shows that Mugabe is still in charge. If it was not for Mugabe then Mutasa would have been dismissed long back,” Ruhanya added.

Maxwell Saungweme, a political analyst, said the divided Zanu PF had, by establishing a disciplinary committee to hear Mutasa’s case, attempted to reach out to disgruntled supporters of former vice president Joice Mujuru.

“I think it’s just an attempt to project an image that due process was followed and thus an endeavour to gunner sympathy from Mujuru supporters after what happened last weekend in primaries.

“But the people in that committee make anyone able to predict the verdict, hence the political party gimmick will not work. Sympathisers of Mujuru are not likely to be fooled by this process,” he said.

Stephen Chan, a professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said Mugabe could not afford to wantonly discard Mutasa, a man on whose wise counsel he had relied upon for a long time.

Chan said in as much as Mugabe would want to appease the Gang of Four, he also needed to strike a balance with the disgruntled old party guard.

“There is a very real need for Mugabe to secure the services and support of the Young Turks, but the Old Turks are still very important.

“Many people will be watching how Mutasa is treated. He was a minister within Mugabe’s own office. Suddenly, treating him too badly will raise questions about Mugabe’s own judgment in relying so heavily on Mutasa in very recent times,” Chan said.

In the meantime, a defiant Mutasa has contemptuously dismissed allegations that he stole critical documents from Zanu PF, describing such claims as “unadulterated nonsense”.

Mutasa spoke to the Daily News on Wednesday as the ruling party’s ugly factional and succession wars turned violent again, and hardliners threw the kitchen sink at him — including ominous threats to incarcerate him for the alleged thefts of party documents.

The strong-headed Headlands legislator also revealed that the court action, that he and other liberation struggle stalwarts were planning to launch to try and reverse the outcome of Zanu PF’s disputed damp squib “elective” congress that was held in Harare late last year, would proceed soon.

Apart from the allegations that he stole party documents, Mutasa is also accused together with Mujuru and other former party bigwigs of plotting to topple and assassinate Mugabe.

A former senior Cabinet minister and long-time ally of Mugabe, Mutasa is also accused by party hardliners of having engaged in nepotism, corruption, abuse of office, as well sensational rape allegations while he was still in office.

But sounding unfazed by the litany of serious allegations against him, the former Speaker of Parliament said he was not afraid of being thrown into jail.

“Why don’t they arrest me? They always talk nonsense. I am tired of hearing their nonsense,” he said.

The heightened assault on Mutasa by party hawks follow last week’s deadly petrol-bombing of the Chiredzi offices of a prominent party official linked to Mujuru, as the ruling party’s factional and succession wars get nastier by the day — amid renewed fears that the ructions could soon claim lives.

Admore Hwarare, the under-fire secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Workers’ Union (ZISMWU) and a former Zanu PF provincial political commissar, told the Daily News at the weekend that he had been shaken by the bombing that had reduced his offices to ashes.

Comments (15)

Mutasa is the mouse which is kangarooed by vicious cats in the characters of Grace, Saviour ,Patrick and Oppah. This is unfair. I totally agree with Sekuru Rugare Gumbo. Mugabe is quite aware these kittens of his are wrong. Nyati is saying " Arrest me if I committed those crimes" I see this as the end of the road for Mugabe and his party.

Jonathiel Moyowaonda - 30 January 2015

Mutasa anemafaira ese. he can open one on killings sanctioned by Mugabe, Mugabe's love illicit affairs including the children born of them, Party-Government mish-mash, rigging, farms etc. Mutasa ndiye ane yese manje. Twese tunana Kasukuwere, moyo nanaGrace indumurwa idzi.

selele - 30 January 2015

The ruling party is the ruling party at the end of the day...whether their ruling will be justified or not of which in the case of this particular party....ma1

eve - 30 January 2015

Nyati pamakabata mikono iyo pakaoma ndimi mune yese Mdara rambai makati dzviiiiii ipapo

zvaiwana ngwarati - 30 January 2015

Mutasa must watch his back because if they cannot fire him from ZanuPF they will retire him from mother earth. Mujuru found out too late.

maita - 30 January 2015

The ZANU PF constitution provides for a five member disciplinary committee headed by the National Chairman. Mugabe unconstitutionally did away with the National Chairman, so there can be no legally constituted Nat Discip Com and the moment....the one set up is wide open to legal challenge.

Joe Soap - 30 January 2015

Question; Mutasa and the late Mahachi got imprisoned for helping Mugabe cross the border to Mozambique in 1975. That is what history says. If King Rekayi Tangwena was alive, he would witness this. While I don't agree with Mutasa's arrogant politics, I think former friends must treat each other with respect and dignity. Look at Jabulani Sibanda, he spent days intimidating people to vote for Mugabe, and now he is treated like trash simply because he truly announced that there has been a 'bedroom coup' in state house.

Chenjerai Hove - 30 January 2015

The Nyathis are my uncles I know them they just not speak for no reason like the Gushungos . Malume MUtasa knows what he is doing he is even cooler than Mujuru who shot down a copter .let Mugabe try his funny tricks and that will be his end .Now Mutasa i begin to view you as indoda sibili baba stand by what you know and that is being member of zanu of last year before december. .Never insult anyone like one idiot always does stay alert victory is certain

Diibulaanyika - 30 January 2015

Mutasa will not survive. Unlike other people I do not feel any pity for the likes of Mutasa who have been oppressing the people for 35 years. He deserves everything he is getting. They must kick him out. He must also suffer like all the other people. He had his time. Politics is a dirty game. When you enter into politics expect to be attacked and backstabbed at some point. He should not moan it comes with the territory. Over the 35 years Mutasa has said and done some appalling things and does not deserve any sympathy. There should no Stockholm syndrome when it comes to the likes of Mutasa. At the height of his power he was a real peacock. In 2002, Mutasa controversially said that it would be a good thing if the population were halved: "We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who supported the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people." The idiot must stew in his own juice. At one stage Mutasa warned journalists against publishing stories on the ageing leader's health, saying the regime will deal ruthlessly with such scribes. On the10 April 2006 State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa on Tuesday ratcheted up pressure against the opposition, threatening to "use guns" to thwart anti-government protests and warning opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai he will pay with his life if he called such protests. Didymus Mutasa is a nasty piece of work.

Musona - 30 January 2015

I seem to share some but not all of @Musona's sentiments about D Mutasa's fate. Specifically the notion that we should feel sorry for Mutasa is both absurd and ridiculous at best, ignores his own misguided and zealotry contribution to the mess he is in, and also fails to acknowledge the pain visited upon millions of innocents by Mutasa's words and deeds. Mutasa's current problems just shows to all who are feeling warm and loved within ZANU pf today, that living life of corruption, nepotism, and ass licking will eventually catch up with you at some point if longevity is bestowed on you. Mutasa and company were, on may occassions, willingly blind to the genuine cries of those outside ZANU pf, of people's cries for democratic space but alas... till his sorry behind was on the swing. You reap what yo have sown, and so he should never be forgiven nor should we feel sorry for. However, I also think there is merit to what he is saying albeit a little too late and self-serving. What Mutasa is saying should actually be used by those who call themselves "weezles", for the same fate awaits many of them soon. Mugabe has never loved Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans. He is only concerned about one thing: His own grandiose plans of forming a dynasty for generations to come. Anyone who is not of immediate family to him should never underestimate the reach political trickery and merciless elimination of those seen or perceived to be obstlacles.

tino16 - 30 January 2015

But at least now he has turned nasty for zanu pf which is the best thing all good think zimbabweans had been craving for . No one is going to fire him as he will spill more beans . on the other hand if they do not fire him how are they going to work with him it is a catch 22 situation and we had been longing for that . What is it that is stopping them from firinghim? let them go ahead and we shall see what happens . My feeling is Mutasa is inkuzi (bull) and is not going down without causing major upsets in zanu pf .They are even scared of arresting him and that speaks volumes he is a buffalo bull and he is holding the keys of all skeleton pantries at the state house which was built by whites and any slight provocation he will open those pantries for every one to see . HEEEY !!! ASAZI MADODA.zanu is about to shoot itself on the foot everyone is waiting to hear that bang .

Diibulaanyika - 30 January 2015

No one is sorry for Mutasa but insteady we are cheering him to hit back at those who are doing so to him including Mugabe and that will benefit us who want to see zanu being destroyed within c .Surely if anyone arises from anywhere and start doing that kind of job of destroying zanu. us as patriotic zimbabweans must cheer that person as a way of some moral boost so that he can cause more destruction , never mind about his past after all an own goal wins the match for the opposite team . So what ever Mutasa is doing in zanu at least for now is a plus for us and we are enjoying it .

Diibulaanyika - 30 January 2015

I like your reasoning Diibulaanyika . You are very right. We all benefit if ZANU dies from within. The opposition is too weak. We need help and god knows that.

musha - 31 January 2015

Mortgaging your liberation to Mutasa and God is utter daydreaming!

Iyeni - 31 January 2015

@Lyeni all living human beings dream whether during the day or night but dead one never dream at all and that is where lyeni fits.

Diibulaanyika - 31 January 2015

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.