Didymus Mutasa

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Didymus Mutasa
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Didymus Mutasa
Born Didymus Mutasa
(1935-07-27) July 27, 1935 (age 81)
Rusape
Other names Noel, Edwin
Occupation
  • Politician
Years active 1957- Present
Religion Christianity
Relatives Temba Mliswa

Didymus Mutasa is a Zimbabwean politician and senior member of new political party Zimbabwe People First. He was previously the secretary of Administration for the nationalist ZANU-PF party as well as the Minister of Presidential Affairs before his demotion to an ordinary card-carrying member and eventually expulsion in February 2015

Background

Born Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa on 27 July 1935 in Rusape, Manicaland Province, the 6th child in a family of devout Christians.[1] His first born who was also Mugabe's personal helicopter plot, Wing Commander Edwin Tanyanyiwa Mutasa died in 2009 after a short illness.[2] Mutasa claimed his son was poisoned by his political rivals at the Manyame Airbase.[3]

Education

He attended Goromonzi High School between 1950 and 1956 where he completed his secondary education. Mutasa was generally a bright student among his contemporaries. He did his tertiary education in the United Kingdom graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree Birmingham University.[4]

Political career

Mutasa joined politics as a member of the African National Congress in 1957 before joining Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1963 at its formation. He worked with Swedish missionaries and is said to have travelled around Sweden sourcing clothing and other supplies for Zimbabwean refugees in Mozambique.[5] He was also imprisoned for two years between 1970 and 1972 at Chinhoyi Prison where he was in solitary confinement before being transferred to Salisbury Remand Prison where he met Robert Mugabe and Edgar Tekere. He became popular in 1980 when he became the first black Speaker of Parliament in 1980, a post which he held for ten years until 1990. He had served as Makoni North Member of Parliament between 2000 and 2004.

Mutasa was then appointed Minister of Special Affairs in the President’s Office in charge of the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies.[6] He had served in the President's Office more than twice, first as Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement in the President's Office between 2005 and 2008 and Minister of State for Presidential Affairs from 2008. He was elected Headlands House of Assembly member in the March 2008 elections, defeating Fambiyai Tsimba of the Movement for Democratic Change.[7] At the inception of the Government of National Unity in 2009, Mutasa became Minister of State for Presidential Affairs. He is also the ZANU PF Secretary for Administration. Mutasa is a member of the Joice Mujuru faction in the on-going ZANU PF succession disputes.[8] Whilst Still in government, Mutasa is aid to have called Desmond Tutu a puppet of the West, a vassal of imperialism and a lost soul[5]

Controversy and Scandal

  1. In 2002 Mutasa said he would not care if 6 million people died because of food shortages, as the country would be better off with ZANU PF members only.[9]
  2. Mutasa allegedly launched the infamous Operation Murambatsvina (clean up) in May 2005 in which all structures deemed illegal were destroyed. The operation which received widespread criticism, rendered more than 700 000 families homeless.[10]
  3. Mutasa was also part of a government task force which was sent to Chinhoyi and duped by fraudster Rotina Mavhunga into believing that the latter could make diesel come out of a rock. The matter only came to light after it emerged that Rotina Mavhunga had a tank installed behind a rock from which she was drawing the diesel.[11]
  4. Mutasa was also said to have been locked in a war with fellow provincial party member Oppah Muchinguri when the latter was alleged to have blocked Mutasa from taking over one of the most productive farms in the province[12] It was reported that Mutasa threatened Rusape tobacco farmer Gavin Woest with death should he try to resist the takeover. The situation deteriorated after several youths arrived at the farm and ordered the workers to stop what they were doing as they had come to check what they were doing. The situation only normalised when a Jomic team that included Muchinguri arrived at the scene and calmed the situation after having locked in a heated discussion with Mutasa.
  5. A member of the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai Job Sikhala made sensational claims that Mutasa had taken sexual performance enhancement drugs but things had gone terribly wrong for the former ZANU PF Secretary for Administration after he almost suffered a severe heart attack. Sikhala went on to claim that Mutasa was receiving medication for his near fatality.[13] It was alleged that Mutasa had taken the medication in a bid to sexually engage a 23 year old woman he was said to be involved with at the time.[13] Former ZANU PF former spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed Mutasa having gone to India but insisted that Mutasa had traveled for a routine medical check up.There were also unconfirmed reports which claimed that Mutasa was planning on marrying a twenty three year old from Honde Valley whom it was claimed would be his fourth wife.[14]
  6. Mutasa was allleged to have instructed unidentified personnel to terrorise one Mr Maisiri of the opposition up until the latter was foorced to flee for his life into Mozambique. One of the people believed to have been acting under Mutasa's orders was said to have raped Mrs Maisiri in the absence of her husband[15]
  7. Has been accused for having pushed for the legislation of mandatory blending of fuel which many people have been described as monopolistic as they serve the interests of the foreign investor while restricting the options of consumers [15]
  8. During the tenure of the inclusive government Mutasa was said to have demanded the release of his son after he had been arrested by the police. Martin Mutasa, alongside Temba Mliswa had been arrested by the police after which Didymus Mutasa is said to have gone to the police demanding the release of his son.[16]
  9. Mutasa was also accused by fellow party member Dorothy Mabika for having made inappropriate sexual advances towards her which the latter is said to have turned down. This did not go down well with Mutasa who was then allegedly framed Dorothy for stock theft in a bid to fix her for having tuned down his sexual advances. Reports claimed that Dorothy faced two charges which included stock theft and obstruction of justice after it emerged that she had destroyed minutes of a meeting to conceal her theft.[17] Mutasa however poured cold water over the allegations by Dorothy arguing that
    It is within your imagination. I never made any proposal or any sexual advances and if she was thinking about that, then it is her own problem. If she loves me, then let her be open.[17]
  10. Mutasa was implicated in the July 31st elections which saw the controversial re-election of Mugabe as the President of the country. Mutasa promised Mr Shupikai Mashereni who was then a senior official at the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) for a sterling job in twisting the 2013 election figures in favour of ZANU PF.[18] Mashereni however died under mysterious circumstances in February 2014, shortly after demanding from Mutasa a 70 hectare Headlands farm promised to him before the July elections.[18]
  11. In January 2014,a commission led by Cde Mandi Chimene accused Mutasa of distributing land illegally to his friends, relatives, wives and girlfriends.[19] The commission stated that, during his tenure in the National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement Portfolio, Mutasa illegally distributed more than 15 commercial farms to his associates, wives and lovers. He was also accused of pocketing rentals from tenants at eight properties owned by ZANU PF as his own money.[19] Some of the farms that Mutasa is said to have illegally distributed include, Mutambara Farm, Runguita Farm, Homewood Farm, Folkington Farm, Chimbi Farm, Zingondi Farm, Dyfreene Farm amongst others.[19]
  12. In 2015, it was alleged that Mutasa attempted to defraud the Mutare Council of a house which had been leased to him but had not paid for since 1984. It was further alleged that Mutasa attempted to claim ownership despite there being no proof of payment.[20]

Murder Allegation

Mutasa was accused by Tendai Biti of having played a part in the murder of Christpower Maisiri whose father, Shepherd Maisiri, was the Headlands Deputy Organising Secretary of the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai at the time. The 12 year old boy was burnt to death at his father's Headlands home in what was suspected to be a case of politically motivated violence. Mutasa did not take lightly the accusations as he went on to file a US$5 million lawsuit against Tendai Biti.[21]

At the Helm of Factionalism

Mutasa has been accused by his fellow ZANU PF hardliners of being at the helm of the Mujuru faction which is led by the vice president Joice Mujuru. It is believed that Mutasa has a very long history with the vice president and has been very instrumental in organizing support from the grassroots levels, in the provinces and well as in the politburo. At one point in time at a rally in Manicaland, Mutasa made the claim that Mujuru was the natural heir and she was the legitimate successor to Robert Mugabe. This marked the beginning of allegations of fanning factionalism in the party.

Gamatox- A New Political Name

At the funeral of former Cabinet Minister and Zanu PF politburo member Nathan Shamuyarira, Mugabe lamented that his nationalist party had been invaded by bugs from within, which needed to be rid of.[22] Two days later at a meeting in Mutare while addressing youth, Mutasa coined the term "Gamatox" in reference to remarks that Mugabe had made earlier.

“You were talking about the issue of weevils here. Way back we used to treat weevils by spraying gamatox (pesticide) and they would all die. Our weevils, if you know about them, which we are castigating now, please apply gamatox on them."[23]

The private press then began to call him "Cde Gamatox" from that point on.[24][25]

Spat with Mutsvangwa

After having been fingered in a succession plot to unseat an elected president, Mutasa was accused of having not fully participated in the liberation struggle because he was not part of the decisive phase in the war. The accusations were made by fellow liberation war veteran Christopher Mutsvangwa. Mutsvangwa was quoted as having said that Mutasa’s legitimacy in Zanu PF was the “hazy clamour for the political ascendancy of Vice President Mujuru.[26] Responding to Mutsvangwa, Mutasa was quoted as having said
I am afraid responding to such utterances would only save to dignify nonsense. You can research about my credentials yourself but let me rather say when I got out of prison in 1973, I went on to write a book in which I foretold that President Mugabe would be our president. I love and respect Baba Mugabe and for anyone to suggest that I would want to challenge his leadership shows a high degree of madness. I am not like that, I am not that kind of person.[26]

Mutsvangwa was bitter on Mutasa because his wise had been taken out for a date by Gamatox

Facion : A New Slogan- Down With Gamatox !

"Pasi negamatox" placards denouncing Mutasa
During the "Meet the People" rallies held in all the countries' provinces by the first lady Grace Mugabe, there was the popularization of the slogan "pasi ne gamatox" (down with gamatox). It was clear that the people simply expressed they anger against Didymus Mutasa and Joice Mujuru. Mutasa was arguably Joice Mujuru's biggest ally in her political aspirations. The slogan was popularized in Harare at City Sports Centre where the first lady took part in her first 'Meet the People' rallies.[27]

At a rally held at Zanu PF Headquarters in Harare in November 2014, the crowd showed Mutasa addressed the people amid calls and slogans against him. The people insisted that he should recite the slogan "pasi negamatox" but he openly refused. Robert Mugabe however came to his rescue when he told the audience that Mutasa was only intending to land the post of the national chairman and not the presidency.[27]

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After the November politburo meeting which saw the suspension of Rugare Gumbo and the dismissal of Jabulani Sibanda, the war veterans warned Mutasa that he was going to meet the same fate. They advised Mutasa to publicly confess his political "transgressions" or face the axe.

The Downfall

The downfall of Mutasa came after he failed to get nomination for appointment into the ZANU PF's decision making body; the Central Committee for his Manicaland province. Instead, war veterans and other party supporters staged demonstrations calling for the dismissal of Mutasa from the ZANU PF party. He was accused of factionalism and plotting to unseat a constitutionally elected president. Mutasa was accused of plotting to assassinate president Robert Mugabe. It was alleged that he had worked the then vice president Joice Mujuru, the expelled party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and the fired minister Nicholas Goche to remove President Mugabe from office.

Comeback Attempts

After his demotion to the status of a card carrying member, Mutasa failed to attend the much publicised ZANU PF People's Congress held in Harare in December 2014. His failure to attend the conference stamped his demotion from the party hierarchy. He also made attempts to bring in the South African president Jacob Zuma who is the SADC appointed political mediator. The state run newspaper, The Herald, also made allegations that Mutasa has also courted the Movement for Democratic Change in order to ascertain his comeback. He is also alleged to have made contact with international organisations, and nongovernmental organisations in a desperate attempt to resurrect his political career but all in vain.[28]

Whilst in India, where his wife was receiving treatment, Mutasa is also said to have continued to make unprecedented moves to necessitate his comeback. He is said to have written a letter which was described as an explosive one to the SADC leaders pulling them to intervene following the inglorious booting out of those who were accused of aligning with the Mujuru faction from their senior positions.[29] Mutasa also lobbied secretaries of ZANU PF's sister liberation movements in Southern Africa to make similar claims.[30] Mutasa was said to have been on a relentless mission to seek a political asylum in South Africa.[29] He however denied this.

His Return Home

Mutasa flew to South Africa to receive treatment after his purge from his senior party position. From South Africa, he went to India together with his wife. He however returned home on Christmas Eve.[30] Some of those aligned to him and his faction paid homage to him at his home in Headlands in Rusape.[30]

Upon his arrival, it was reported that Mutasa was shocked when he recognised that his home was no longer under the protection of the police, a privilege which he had enjoyed for a long time. It was reported that Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered the Police Protection Unit to remove those previously assigned to Mutasa's house.[31]

Due to the moves made by Mutasa whilst in South Africa and India, the Manicaland Province has been lobbying for his expulsion from the party for what has been labelled as his continued denigration of the party and its leader.[32] Samuel Undenge, the then acting Chairman for Manicaland stated the province wants Mutasa to be censured as his utterances and actions are not remorse.[32] The province has been calling for Mutasa's expulsion despite the directive from the party's National Political Commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere who ordered provinces to stop further suspensions within the party.

The Press Statement

Following what many perceived to Mutasa's end to his political career and his continued absence in Zimbabwe, the former ZANU PF secretary issued a press statement on January 13, 2015 in which he claimed that the party had followed proper procedures like the "one man one vote" and the alleged scandalous manner in which people were removed from their posts through "votes of no confidence".[33] The Press Statement also appealed to progressive Zimbabweans, expelled party members, current office holders who felt that their elevation in the party was unprocedural. One of the key points which the statement emphasised was the fact that the 6th National Congress was nothing but a sham. The statement argued that Joice Mujuru had not committed any of the crimes being levelled against her chief among them which included plotting to topple a sitting head of state.[33] The state also made reference to a clique of individuals that had used the president and first lady to satisfy their own agendas and in the process eroding internal party democratic systems in the process.

When Mugabe returned home from his annual holiday on 22 January 2015, he humiliated Mutasa (responding to the press statement that he issued when he was out of the country) whilst addressing purportedly party supporters and fanatics who thronged the Harare International Airport to give Mugabe a befitting welcome. Mugabe fumed arguing that Mutasa is misguided.[34] He was quoted saying,
A stupid fool cannot be corrected. There is nothing you can do to a straying grey ass. It's a graying ass just braying. We have no time for individuals of little brains, disorganised, mentally deranged if not close to being insane.[34]

Allegations of Stealing Party Documents

After he sought legal recourse against ZANU- PF, allegations began to emerge that Mutasa had stolen party documents and files which he was suing to sue the party. The Herald reported that Mutasa looted the essential party documents from the party headquarters when he lost his central committee bid in December 2014.[35]

Popular Quotes On Didymus Mutasa

  • "a ruthless and acquisitive politician who is notorious for using violence against political opponents". (Terence Ranger: Professor Emeritus of History at Oxford University and a nationalist in colonial Zimbabwe[5]
  • “A man of high integrity and Christian character, he never feared to speak his mind and he was always a sensitive leader, a man of vision, an optimist with a profound belief in his fellow man regardless of race, colour, creed.” (Guy Clutton-Brock, the Welsh-born champion of black freedom who became Zimbabwe’s first and only official white hero when President Robert Mugabe buried his ashes at Harare's Heroes Acre in 1996)[5]

Expulsion from ZANU PF

Following Mutasa's suspension and demotion, he was expelled from the party and several reasons were cited for his expulsion ranging from threatening to sue the party for its "illegal congress" held in December, making disparaging remarks to the party among others.[36] He was expelled together with his nephew Temba Mliswa who was also facing a series charges.

Losing Parlimentary Seat

Following his expulsion from the ZANU-PF, the party went on to request parliament to reclaim the seat. On 3 March 2015, parliament went on the grant ZANU-PF the request and this resulted in Mutasa being deposed as the member of parliament for Makoni Constituency. This meant that the seat was to be contested on a by-election.

Lawsuit Against Mugabe and ZANU-PF

After his dismissal from party and parliament Mutasa went on to sue ZANU-PF its leader president Robert Mugabe. He is said to have engaged his lawyers and the basis of his lawsuit was that his dismissal from both ZANU-PF and parliament was unlawful.

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References

  1. Trevor Grundy, Whatever happened to Mutasa?, The Standard, Published: 13 Jun 2002, Retrieved: 14 Jan 2015
  2. Villagers Disown Mutasa At Son's Funeral, Denford Magora Blogspot, Published: November 19, 2009, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  3. Robb W.J Ellis, Howzit , The Bearded Man, December 13, 2009, Retrieved July 1, 2014
  4. Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa, Africa Confidential, Retrieved July 1, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Didymus Mutasa, Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa, February 3, 2010, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  6. Mugabe rewards loyalists in new Cabinet Zimbabwe Situation, Published: February 9, 2004, Retrieved, July 1, 2014
  7. Didymus Mutasa, Financial Gazette, Published: Jan 24, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2013
  8. Clayton Masekesa, Secret plot to oust Mujuru: Mutasa, The Zimbabwean, Published: January 8, 2014, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  9. Zimbabwe Wall of Shame: Didymus Mutasa, Nehanda Radio, Published: April 16, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  10. Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa - Zanu PF MP Headlands Consituency
  11. Bizarre cases of our time, Daily News, Published: May 20, 2013, Retrieved: January 14, 2015
  12. Mutasa, Muchinguri Lock Horns Over Farm Seizure, Zimbabwe Daily, Published: January 10, 2015, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  13. 13.0 13.1 Mutasa suffered heart attack after taking Viagra: Sikhala, Nehanda Radio, Published: March 30, 2014, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  14. Breaking News: Didymus Mutasa marrying a 23 year old, The Harare Times, Published: August 29, 2013, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  15. 15.0 15.1 Ken Yamamoto Mutasa: A moron with an overinflated ego, New Zimbabwe, Published: January 20, 2015, Retrieved: January 21, 2015
  16. Denford Magora Didymus Mutasa denies forcing Police to release his son, ZimEye, Published: July 3, 2010, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  17. 17.0 17.1 Obey Manayiti Sex accusations against Mutasa, NewsDay, Published: May 10, 2013, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  18. 18.0 18.1 Pius Shereni, Mutasa case Spills The Beans on NIKUV July 2013 Election Rigging, ZimEye, published:28 Dec 2014,retrieved:29 December 2014"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Ex-minister gave 15 farms to wives, lovers, Zimbabwe Daily, Published:17 Jan 2015, Retrieved:19 January 2015
  20. Takunda Maodza Mutasa in bid to defraud council, The Herald, Published: June 30, 2015, Retrieved: June 30, 2015
  21. MOSES MATENGA Didymus Mutasa to sue Tendai Biti, NewsDay Published: March 25, 2014, Retrieved: January 14, 2015
  22. President speaks against dividing Zanu PF, "ZBC", Published: 6 Jun 2014, Retrieved: 14 Jan 2015
  23. Obey Manayiti, Mnangagwa leads faction not Mujuru, says Mutasa, "Southern Eye", Published: 9 Jun 2014, Retrieved: 14 Jan 2015
  24. Mugabe defends 'Cde Gamatox', "Harare24", Published: 31 Oct 2014, Retrieved: 14 Jan 2015
  25. Mliswa and Chiyangwa Draw Daggers over Gamatox, ZimEye, Published: 15 Oct 2014, Retrieved: 14 Jan 2015
  26. 26.0 26.1 MUTASA HITS BACK AT MUTSVANGWA, Team Zimbabwe, Retrieved: January 14, 2015
  27. 27.0 27.1 Mugabe bans 'Pasi Negamatox', 'Pasi Ne Zvipfukuto' slogans, Harare 24News, Published: October 31, 2014, Retrieved: January 14, 2015
  28. , Mutasa Ropes In MDC T, "The Herald", published:17 Dec 2014,retrieved:17 Dec 2014"
  29. 29.0 29.1 Didymus Mutasa Hits Mugabe, ZimEye, Published:19 Dec 2014, Retrieved:29 December 2014
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Mutasa back in Zimbabwe, allies pay homage, The Chronicle, Published:27 Dec 2014,retrieved:29 December 2014
  31. Farai Muteswe, Mnangagwa Strips Didymus Mutasa of Police Protection, ZimEye, Published:28 Dec 2014, Retrieved:29 December 2014
  32. 32.0 32.1 MANICALAND SEEKS MUTASA EXPULSION, News dzeZimbabwe, published:23 Dec 2014,retrieved:29 December 2014"
  33. 33.0 33.1 Members of Zanu PF statement to the citizens of Zimbabwe, Newsday, Published: January 13, 2015, Retrieved: January 13, 2015
  34. 34.0 34.1 Mutasa “An Ass” – Mugabe, Zim Eye, Published:23 Jan 2015, Retrieved:23 January 2015
  35. H. Zharare, Mutasa steals Party Documents,The Herald, Published:27 Jan 2015, Retrieved:u28 Jan 2015
  36. Mutasa and Mliswa expelled from ZANU PF, Nehanda Radio, Published: February 18, 2015, Retrieved: February 19, 2015