FORMER Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa, who has become the spokesperson of the disgraced cabal led by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, yesterday all but confirmed allegations levelled against the group that stood accused of working to depose President Mugabe from the helm of the ruling party.
Mutasa, who desperately signed off as Zanu-PF secretary for Administration, issued an inflammatory attack on President Mugabe, the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe and the party in a long and rambling Press statement that was availed exclusively to the private media.
The statement, which analysts said was a desperate attempt at agenda-setting through regime-change circles ahead of the African Union’s 24th Summit scheduled to begin in Addis Ababa later this month at which President Mugabe is set to assume the chairmanship of the continental body, also sought to cast aspersions on the President’s standing.
“We now wonder how the nation, region and continent view our once revered President,’’ Mutasa, who is on record saying he had written to Sadc and the African Union seeking reinstatement to his former position, said.
Mutasa’s use of his former position was despite that he no longer holds the post of secretary for Administration having failed to make it into the party’s Central Committee after amassing the lowest votes in Makoni District Central Committee elections.
Members of the Politburo are drawn from the Central Committee.
In signing off the statement, Mutasa said he had issued it on behalf of, among other people, “all past members of Zanu-PF, expelled or who dissociated with Zanu-PF voluntarily in prior years due to the perceived lack of democratic principles and practice in the party.’’
Analysts yesterday said with that signature, Mutasa was in a confused state as he was apparently going as far back as 1963 when the ruling party was formed and that in any event he was effectively confirming the Mujuru cabal’s long known links to Mavambo and other anti-Zimbabwean opposition forces as he did not provide a timeline as to which former Zanu-PF members he was talking about.
Those who left Zanu-PF and formed their opposition parties include Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader Dr Simba Makoni, Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa and even the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole who sold out after being among the founders of Zanu-PF.
Amai Mugabe is on record saying Dr Makoni’s party and MDC were formed in Dr Mujuru’s house and that explained why she was being accused of working with the opposition.
Analysts said it was clear that Cde Mutasa was infuriated by the outcome of the Zanu-PF Youth League and Women’s League conferences that were held in August last year because the results did not favour the Mujuru cabal’s objective of ousting President Mugabe from the leadership of Zanu PF and its Government.
That was the reason why in his statement Mutasa was calling for the “re-instatement of the entire constitutionally elected office bearers of the party in all structures of all wings as at the 1st of July 2014”.
Mutasa, as the then secretary for Administration responsible for organising the conferences, deliberately ensured that both conferences were held in a shambolic way in a bid to influence their outcomes.
Money was also used by the Mujuru cabal at the conferences to buy the youths and the women, resulting in Mutasa being publicly rebuked by President Mugabe for using money to buy votes and disrupting party programmes and failing to properly use his office to run party affairs.
Mutasa is now seeking the reversal of the results of the two conferences that he organised and oversaw and the National People’s Congress so that those who pushed Mujuru’s agenda of deposing President Mugabe are brought back to their former positions in the leadership of the party. He made several authoritative references to Cde Mujuru in his statement in an attempt to prop-up her ambitions, with observers saying his use of “we” in the statement showed there is a bigger plot involving those who lost their posts in the party and that Mujuru is apparently leading them despite her public statements that she would remain loyal to the party.
In his lengthy Press Statement Mutasa described Zanu PF’s 6th National people’s Congress, which Cde Mujuru and her allies did not attend and at which they did not seek any leadership positions after failing to gain seats in the Central Committee, as “a praise and worship playhouse”, the same language used by MDC-T spokesperson Mr Obert Gutu to describe the gathering in his comments during the event.
When contacted for comment yesterday on her association with the statement and Cde Mutasa’s objectives, Cde Mujuru — who ironically has been issuing regular statements to the pro-opposition private media — said: “I am not speaking to newspapers. Please don’t call me”.
Asked to comment on Mutasa’s Press Statement, the minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Professor Jonathan Moyo, said “Mutasa’s statement has nothing to do with Government and I don’t think it has anything to do with Zanu-PF either but you should check that out with SK Moyo. In the meantime if you tell me that there’s anyone out there who believes that Didymus Mutasa is Zanu-PF’s secretary for administration, then I am the Pope”.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, who has developed an unhelpful penchant for dodging reporters’ questions and not answering his phone since being confirmed party spokesperson, was not answering his phone yesterday.
Legal experts said by referring to himself as the Zanu-PF secretary for Administration, Mutasa was committing an offence that warranted his dismissal from the party.
“These are party issues because he is still a card carrying member of the party, but the only way to deal with it is that Zanu-PF must take practical steps to deal with its member, one of them being to expel him,” said lawyer Mr Jonathan Samkange.
“What he (Mutasa) has done is to insist that he is still the secretary for administration, so, what the party must do is to drag him before a disciplinary hearing and then expel him. Once they do that, then it’s finished. If they don’t expel him then it is Zanu-PF that has a problem. So, they must answer decisively by expelling him.”
Another lawyer Mr Terrence Hussein of Ranchhod and Hussein law firm said it would be important for Cde Mutasa to clarify if he was the one who penned the statement.
“If he did, then he has rendered himself liable to a disciplinary process within the party as clearly that conduct would go against constitutional provisions of the party,” he said.
“Cde Mutasa’s seniority within the liberation movement is unquestionable, but he needs to start behaving as a person with such a legacy.”
From the statement, said Mr Hussein, it was clear that Mutasa was averse to progressive change and renewal in the party.
Former Attorney-General and war veteran Sobusa Gula-Ndebele said Mutasa’s defiance was a clear indication that he did not recognise Chombo’s appointment.
Another lawyer Mr Tendai Toto said the signature by Mutasa on the statement gave the impression that he was running a parallel Zanu-PF political party.
“If the signing off as Zanu-PF secretary for administration was deliberate then he has demonstrated utmost defiance of the process that ensued at the Zanu-PF elective Congress of 2014,” he said.
“It is now up to the Politburo to take necessary action to put Mutasa in line through disciplinary proceedings for he is deliberately misleading party members that he is still the secretary for administration.
“The conduct is tantamount to putting the name of the party into disrepute where the impression given to the general public and the Zanu-PF membership at large is that there are two secretaries for administration in Zanu-PF and also that Chombo is a shadow secretary for administration.”
Another legal expert, who spoke on condition of anonymity, urged the party to press charges of impersonation against Mutasa as he was not only abusing the party logo but impersonating a senior party official.
But a senior member of the party’s politburo who did not want to be named said Mutasa is a well-known attention seeker who often resorts to extreme statements or actions just to get attention. “The best way of treating Mutasa is by simply ignoring him. After all, everybody knows he is not well and it is now clear that his poor health has taken a heavy toll on him. He needs our prayers”, said the politburo member.herald