'Beaten Mugabe was ready to go'

HARARE - Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa yesterday revealed how a defeated and despondent President Robert Mugabe had been ready to step down from office in 2008 after the main opposition MDC and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won that year’s keenly-contested elections.

Speaking in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mutasa, however, disclosed that the nonagenarian had been forced to hang on to power by desperate and fearful Zanu PF hardliners who had gone on to unleash an orgy of violence against the opposition to thwart Tsvangirai and the MDC.

But while confirming yet again that the former prime minister and his party had won the 2008 From Page 1

elections, the former Mugabe close confidante said the opposition had lost the 2013 general elections, dismissing widespread allegations of gross rigging by the ruling party that followed the disputed polls as “far-fetched”.

However, he conceded that “a lot of things could have escaped him” since the company that is alleged to have been at the heart of the claimed electoral manipulations, Nikuv, was handled by the ministry of Home Affairs and not that of intelligence which he headed.

Brutally purged from the post-congress Zanu PF and the government late last year, together with dozens of others of the party’s liberation stalwarts that include former Vice President Joice Mujuru — on untested claims of plotting to oust and kill Mugabe — a remorseful Mutasa has become the leading bane in the political life of his erstwhile comrades in the ruling party, campaigning vigorously for a more democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe.

Sticking to his guns that Tsvangirai and the MDC had won the March 2008 elections overwhelmingly, he said when he had driven from his base in Rusape to Harare to support Mugabe, all he wanted was “to stand by and be with the president” in the nonagenarian’s darkest hour.

“Tsvangirai won those elections, no doubt. Even the president, during their congress (December last year) said it himself that Tsvangirai won by 73 percent,” Mutasa said.

Asked if it was not just a slip of the tongue by the nonagenarian in his dotage, as many of his acolytes had claimed, Mutasa who himself is 80 laughed off the claim.

“If it was a slip of the tongue then they must find a new shoe for him,” he said chuckling heartily.

But the diminutive former Cabinet minister said he would not testify in any court about what happened in 2008 since it was public knowledge that Tsvangirai had won that year’s elections — which meant that any debate on this was moot.

Although Mutasa dismisses many government ministers with disdain, it is evident that he still harbours respect for Mugabe, the man who ultimately dumped him to the country’s ever growing jobless and political scrap heap.

“I went to the State House because some of us who were ready to stand with the truth were never afraid of losing. I wanted elections whenever they could be held. I have never lost an election and in fact I am probably one of the few ministers who never lost a poll,” he said.

Quizzed whether his former comrades could graciously accept defeat in future and if Mugabe was ready to step down in 2008, Mutasa said accepting defeat was subject to personal inclinations.

“Certainly, when you go to elections you are faced with a win or defeat. But there are some in Zanu PF who want to win in every election, yet elections are about winning and losing.

“I believe in 2008 the president was ready to step down. That is why we were on his side. He is a very honest person when he wants to be, I have always said that. But the problem is he is misunderstood. He is surrounded by some power-hungry people who urged him to stay,” Mutasa said.

However, the former Speaker of Parliament refused to name the Zanu PF hardliners who had prevented Mugabe from stepping down then, after he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Tsvangirai and the MDC.

“There are a lot of things that happened around that time, but I cannot talk about them now because I am bound by the Official Secrets Act. However, you shall hear about them when the time comes,” Mutasa said.

When it was put to him that Zanu PF was also said to have manipulated the vote in the 2013 elections, Mutasa said the party had prepared adequately for the rushed polls and had won hands down in his mind.

“The elections were not rigged, at least in my knowledge. There was a very thorough campaign that was led by the president and his wife (Grace). All of us campaigned vigorously.”

But the MDC has dismissed the elections as fraudulent and had pointed out to the involvement of the shadowy Nikuv in the general elections as an indicator that the polls were manipulated.

“I don’t even know about Nikuv as it was engaged by the Home Affairs department and not the intelligence.

“There is a lot of secrecy and even as a minister you don’t get every report,” he said.

Comments (23)

I fear for Mutasa bafowethu. He is clearly getting closer and closer to telling the nation all the juicy machinations of our rulers and that can't please them!

Khumalo - 25 June 2015

@ Khumalo, anongo commiter suicide zve - zvinombonetsa ere?

SaManyika Chaiye - 25 June 2015

CDe Mutass please say it all before it's too late. They are now ready to silence you and you are more valuable to us Zimbabweans alive than dead. Do not behave like Enos Knala who promised explosive revealations after his death. I am sure most Zimbabweans are starting to appreciate you and probably ready to forgive you as an individual. How we can only forgive you if you tell us your sins .

Dzasukwa - 25 June 2015

CDe Mutass please say it all before it's too late. They are now ready to silence you and you are more valuable to us Zimbabweans alive than dead. Do not behave like Enos Nkala who promised explosive revealations after his death. I am sure most Zimbabweans are starting to appreciate you and probably ready to forgive you as an individual. However we can only forgive you if you tell us your sins .

Dzasukwa - 25 June 2015

mutasa wakuzivha kuti magetsi anobhadharwa , robot rikaita red unomira , mumutsara unomira uchitenga chingwa nekuti mvura inobhadharwa . zvese izvi wainge usingazvizive while you were stlll in zanupf , now wakupfochoka zvinhu zvakakuraramisa nokuda kwekuti wakadzingirwa misikanzwa . go to hell iwe mudhara coz it wont help anything chero ukafumura zvinhu zvakawanda coz chero ma Americans vanozviziva kuti its not easy to remove a ruling party in power . dailynews news its only there to make money kana wasungwa they even double their sells nekuda kwehubenzi hwako . kura mhani mudhara iwe . you claim kuti Mugabe is now old koiwe harisi samba rauri kuchemera at your age . pfutseki mutasa

hokoyo - 25 June 2015

Mr Mutasa, 2013 elections were obviously rigged. Violence and threats were there but conducted differently compared to 2008, and Nikuv played the bigger role. You may not have been involved in the 2013 rigging, because according to one 'Manheru' 's article in the state newspaper after the elections he states that, ' most zanu pf candidates don't know how they won the elctions'. So yeah there you are Mr Mutasa. I think Zimbabweans may exonerate you in rigging of the 2013 elections. I was done behind your back

Jackson Magaya - 25 June 2015

You are now beginning to talk sense Mr Mutasa. We know the top three hardliners who prevented Mugabe to accept defeat and leave office They are mnangagwa, chiwenga and shiri. You can name the rest Mr Mutasa when the right time comes as you said.

jackson - 25 June 2015

The usual BS from Mutasa. Now its becoming clear Mutasa has an axe to grind with his former colleagues in ZPF. Kushamba kwaari kuita pa Daily News kunzi zwimwe Mugabe angandinzwira tsitsi agonditi dzoka kugravy train. Dydimus its over for you. Enda urime mbambaira pafarm yawakapamba. Mari yawaiba unayo chinakidzwa zwekupedzisira usati waenda kwamupfiganebwe.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 25 June 2015

if so, then why did he the gukurahundist went on to kill people in the aftermath? didi, we are not blind and stupid! your were at the epicentre of this infernal creature called zanu over the past 50 years and your know a lot about all the dirty that the party did. we wont vote for your over such lies. tsvangirai had to leave for Botswana because you wanted him dead.

josphat mugadzaweta - 26 June 2015

the prophecy is coming to pass, the secrets are coming out bit by bit, the big tree is falling guys.

ballista - 26 June 2015

mutasa newe wakatirova muna 2008 tanga wabvuma kuti iwe wakauraya vanhu wotaura vanhu vaukauraya ndokuti tikuregerere

gotsi - 26 June 2015

How many more times do we have to discuss rigged or stolen elections to realize and firmly grasp this one important point: nobody is going to stop this vote rigging, it is part of the ZANU PF culture and is here to stay regardless of what the majority might or might not want. All of you have to realize that this ZANU PF culture is backed by powerful external forces who will ensure that this culture remains. Forget the MDC, they have proven beyond all reasonable doubt that they are useless and incapable and lacking in quality leadership.

Moses Chibagwe - 26 June 2015

Mutasa 'won' every election, thanks to the mobs he imported into his constituency to beat everybody into submission, including Zanu pf supporters who dared support rival candidates at primary polls, and all who were suspected to be MDC.

machakachaka - 26 June 2015

I one day chete razvicha bachfire kuna mwari kudenga

zim - 26 June 2015

Pasi ne Zanu!!

R. G. Mugabe - 26 June 2015

the problem is morgan. he is unpredictable for sure. when you expect him to man-up, he chickens out. he needlessly threatened mugabe to take him to the hague. instead tsvangirai should have offered mugabe the olive leaf that way he (tsvangirai) would have ruled the country and we wouldn't be in this mess. tsvangirai blunders endlessly. the incidents involving his mishaps are numerous. rather, zimbabweans, put some significant blame on tsvangirai. he doesn't understand how to maneuver the political landscape. left to lead his party, we can predict that the guy will make another blunder when it matters most. retire the guy machinja then you can expect some meaningful progress. otherwise you doomed.

zvirozviyedzwa - 26 June 2015

dont blame tswangirai, i think he has done well to stay alive, you are talking about the zanu killing thugs here, CIO, police and the army, are all zanuficated. call him a traitor but i don't think many would have lasted this long. ZANU thugs would kill anyone to stay in power. nkomo had to escape as well fearing for his life. he was called a traitor for doing zanu. but we should remember zany kills and mutasa was part of that murder squad until he was booted out hence he is now trying to play angel.

nyanisinyanisi - 28 June 2015

all of you na Mugabe ve destroyed our country and yet u were nt saying anything be4 u a like tsvangirai who joined Mugabe and ate from the same plate and nw u still want to eat na mujuru as be4 all of you must leave our country alone and let the young generation decide our own fate with new politicians.he he he we diedfor this country so is it why we a suffering that u went kuhondo.we could ve gone to war as well if it was our time.so pfutseke all of you who ve destroyed our beloved country

tich - 30 June 2015

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