'Zanu PF infighting has destroyed Zim'

HARARE - Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa says Zimbabwe is destined to remain a nation of street vendors unless post-congress Zanu PF leaders concentrate on fixing the country’s comatose economy rather than their “destructive” factional and succession wars.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News last week, Mutasa accused ruling Zanu PF bigwigs, many of whom are Cabinet ministers, of focusing their energies on accumulating wealth and power instead of the bleeding economy, which has resulted in poverty levels in Zimbabwe reaching their worst point in 60 years.

Mutasa spoke as Zanu PF’s deadly infighting continues to escalate, with President Robert Mugabe — constrained by advanced age and failing health — seemingly unable to stop it and ambitious young members of his party making it ever more clear that they are impatient to take over from him and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Noting “with profound sadness” that the economy was continuing to nosedive, with hundreds of industries closing on a monthly basis and unemployment now hovering around 90 percent, Mutasa said it was both heart-rending and disgraceful that Zanu PF leaders were blind to the pain of Zimbabweans.

He said it made him very sad that many Zimbabweans now eked a difficult living as street vendors, which was a complete negation of the lofty aspirations of the liberation struggle that had motivated many young people to confront the Rhodesian government.

He said like most Zimbabweans, he too was bearing the full brunt of the economic malaise destroying the country, and this was all thanks to Zanu PF’s misrule and misplaced priorities.

He added that this was why it was important for all Zimbabweans to work together to ease their pain, while at the same time the ruling party now needed to put people first before its leaders’ selfish interests.

Mutasa, who along with other Zanu PF leading lights such as former Vice President Joice Mujuru, party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, and war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda were ruthlessly purged from the ruling party over murky allegations of plotting to oust and kill Mugabe last year, said his erstwhile comrades should have the courage to put the past behind.

“We need proper reconciliation where people bare their minds. At such a platform, yes, we will talk about the congress. Our comrades will of course use the technicality that we did not get any positions in the congress but there are a lot of things that happened before that which must be addressed correctly,” Mutasa said.

The former trusted top aide to Mugabe said there was need for honest debate in the ruling party and country in order to save Zimbabwe from total economic collapse.

“We should not waste time fighting. We should sit down and talk frankly and see where we have gone wrong as a country. It is the people who are suffering. But they are for example, fighting over Harare East and ignoring the economy,” he said.

Zanu PF’s top leadership has been in turmoil over the party’s representation in the Harare East by-election, with the politburo eventually settling for unknown candidate Terence Mukupe over Mavis Gumbo to represent the party in the forthcoming by-election.

Mutasa said all these “ugly” ructions ran counter to the ideals of the liberation struggle, which he said were now a pie in the sky, as a decent life was now beyond the reach of the vast majority of Zimbabweans.

“I cannot be happy with the vending in the streets. Those vendors want to advance from what they are doing now to something better and that is what we want to discuss as the political leadership,” he said.

With the hopes of many now hinged on the opposition to rescue them, Mutasa said the Zanu PF (People First) would get going soon.

“You can expect Zanu People First anytime,” he said, adding, “It is true we have delayed launching the organisation but we are trying to sort it out”.

Mutasa, who was recently ditched by his lawyers said he was not going to drop the court case where he is challenging the outcome of Zanu PF’s 2014 congress.

“The lawyers were expecting money in advance and they dropped their services. But what should be noted is that it was a personal matter. But on the bigger issue where we are trying to bring democracy back to the country that is a national issue and the expenses must be met by all of us,” Mutasa said.

Retired and hugely-respected Zanu PF elder, Cephas Msipa, also recently told the Daily News that Zimbabwe’s deepening political and economic crises could be traced to the ruling party’s policies which he said had failed to deliver the promised milk and honey that prompted many to take up arms against Ian Smith.

Msipa said the worsening poverty levels in the country owing to the deteriorating socio-economic conditions could only be mitigated if Zanu PF accepted that it had failed the people and all Zimbabweans put their heads together to come up with lasting solutions to the crises.

Yet, at the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in April 1980, the late Tanzanian President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, exhorted the new Zanu PF government to look after the country’s economy that they had inherited from Smith’s government, saying: “You have inherited the jewel of Africa, don’t destroy it”.

But just over 35 years later, Zimbabwe is beset with perennial and mostly man-made myriad crises — with both poverty and income levels today for the majority blacks often described as “disgracefully” worse than they were during Smith’s minority government.

In the process, the country has moved swiftly from once being seen as the breadbasket of the region to a hopeless basket case — a situation widely blamed on Zanu PF’s misrule and the gross corruption of its officials.

Comments (21)

Mutasa should not take us for fools

Prof Mlambo - 25 May 2015

Mr Mugabe could you please tell me your purpose as a leader of Zimbabwe. What value have you added to Zimbabwe, coz what I see in you is a big very big liability. You are the master of destruction. You cant build anything. Mukuruwe munosvodesa, its very embarrassing to be called a president for a dying economy like ours. I guess makaitawo hunhu for a minute you will realise kuti you have been fooling yourself. Mr President what is your goal or can you list things that you have done that improved the life of the general population since you took over. Economic wise you are the worst administrator, political you have proved to be more cruel than Ian Smith. Do you have any conscience mr President. Ini ndazvishaira pazvo

Gushaaz - 25 May 2015

Dailynews please give us a break. We are sick and tired of these Mutasa interviews churned out as news day in, day out. There is nothing new which Mutasa will tell you which he has not said before.

Ndugu - 25 May 2015

for now our common enemy is Mugabe abd as such lets all rally behind anyone who wish to see him from office. We will sought out everything when Mugabe is gone. this childish tendency for some to say Mutasashould shut up will perpertuate our misery, let him speak and let us give him our support then see what to do if the old man is retired through a democratic process.

Jesuit Priest - 25 May 2015

Muzorewa once said ZANU of is a political animal that knows no economics. I guess back in 1980 we never understood what the hell he was talking about. Now it's very clear what he meant. It's true Mugabe is now a liability to his party and the country. He must handover power to more capable leaders. Though to be honest I have looked at ZANU pf closely. I can hardly point to anyone with true leadership qualities. I do not see a single strategist who can turn around this economy in ZANU pf. Mandela was very right , the tragedy of Zimbabwe is lack of leadership. ZANU of is a tragical comedy for most of us. We will never see change as long as we allow this party to dominate.

Dzasukwa - 25 May 2015

Show ZANU PF the door, Zimbabweans you talk too much time is now to stand your ground

Dee - 25 May 2015

Guys don't worry zanu irikudonha slowly but surely, there's no need for any dialogue or anything like that. Just leave them like that, remember 2008? What's happening now was supposed to happen after 2008, it would've been a good idea for MDC to refuse to join the inclusive govt, because that was just delaying the inevitable. Had MDC refused we would be in a better position right now. So I actually think if it were possible let's leave these guys and they will die a natural death. What I foresee is another inclusive govt which will not help zim but only cover up the mess and then everything will re-surface again after the inclusive govt is over. Dialogue will not work in zim with zanu at the helm. For me there are only 2 options, kubvisa mukuru nechisimba or kusiya zvakadaro of which the first option is almost impossible given that they own all the security so the 2nd would be better vachaurayana vega.

redemption - 25 May 2015

We are sick and tired of hearing this Mutasa thing!! Just apologise and go back to ZANU PF...they will welcome you coz you are one of them fools!!!!

Garikayi - 25 May 2015

Mutasa should have been giving all these lectures to his colleagues in Zanu PF when he was still their member. We are tired of this noise maker.

Hitler in moffty - 25 May 2015

Cde Didymus Mutasa what were you do in the ZANU-PF Government for the past 35 Years on building the Country Zimbabwe???....but now...your comments seems you are like a day dreamer...i am saying to you you must SHUT-UP...........

silungisani ndlovu - 25 May 2015

The more Mutasa speaks the more he gets naked. Its only five months after he was axed from Zanu pf. How many Politburo meetings did he attend in his life time whilst inside Zanu pf making decisions that have resulted in greater population becoming vendors ? Mutasa is a wrong person at a wrong time to speak of zim's problems. The country's problems are well documented and are known. Zanu pf failed to transform itself to being a renewable and viable organisation and chose a life path of "one life span". That life span is coming to an end. The worst part is that it does not have reverse gear. Zanu pf is busy dying a natural death.

X-MAN IV - 25 May 2015

Kuti zvitsva here nhai dhiziri waiva usingazvivoni pawaidhla navo zvino mwenawesambani wakavhagwa woda tikuterere mpengo

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 25 May 2015

Nope Mutasa you've got it wrong. It is not ZANU-PF's infighting that has destroyed Zimbabwe - it is ZANU-PF's 30 years of bad governance (of which you were a part).

david taylor - 25 May 2015

Zimbabwe was already destroyed by Zanu-Pf long before now. It is a one man show of economic incompetene and deranged followers of this show.

Emperor - 26 May 2015

Mutasa, you used to enjoy yourself and everything that ZANU PF stood for. I do not believe you got your sight only after being kicked out. Why were Zanu PF sins okay when you were there? Dai manyarara vaMutasa.

machakachaka - 26 May 2015

Mtasa failed us and hz part of the rot hz talking about. He was advisor to His excellence. The question is was mtasa advising him to fail. If the answer is yes.HIS ambition was to take over from hz boss

pfupajena - 26 May 2015

Shut up Didymus

Pia - 27 May 2015

Mutasa,at your age ,you still exhibit signs of fright. What kind of a father or grandfather are you ? Apa mhuri haina baba apa! Tibvirepano ! There comes a time in a man`s age whereby he thinks beyond his self alone but for posterity . This is not the case with you Didimus.

Chorosi - 27 May 2015

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