A defiant Didymus Mutasa yesterday contemptuously dismissed allegations that he stole critical documents from Zanu PF, describing such claims as “unadulterated nonsense”.
Mutasa spoke yesterday 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 yesterday that the court action, that he and other liberation struggle stalwarts were planning 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.
Mutasa roundly slated the lickspittle State media reports that alleged that he had stolen some important party documents when he realised that he would lose his party position last December.
“Which papers are they talking about? Newspapers, memoranda, waste paper or toilet paper. It is not clear what it is they say I stole,” Mutasa said.
Apart from the allegations that he stole party documents, Mutasa is also accused together with former Vice President Joice Mujuru and other former party bigwigs of plotting to topple and assassinate President Robert 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.
Mutasa’s group is adamant that the party’s December congress was illegal, and has gone on to implore Mugabe to “listen to the voice of the majority” in the ruling party and ignore the advice of Mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies) who they say have hijacked the party and are leading the nonagenarian down the garden path.
Mutasa courted the wrath of his erstwhile Zanu PF comrades when he signed a damning statement recently which was provocatively written in his former capacity as the ruling party’s secretary for administration.
In the statement whose contents form the backbone of the intended court application, Mutasa ominously pooh-poohed all the party appointments and changes that were made just before, during and after the controversial December congress — pitting his group for a titanic showdown with Mugabe, his wife Grace, as well as party hardliners who led the assault on Mujuru and all her perceived allies.
The no-holds-barred statement also called for the nullification of all “purported constitutional amendments drafted and rail-roaded immediately before this so-called congress”, as well as the restoration of the “elective dignity of congress and the one-man one-vote principle as enunciated by our armed struggle and constitution”.
“The sad events of the past months reflect a deep-seated historical failure by the party leadership to correctly handle internal contradictions in the party. Each time the party faces challenges, it resorts to brute force,” the statement 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.
He was also emphatic in his belief that the bombing was the work of his erstwhile Zanu PF comrades, whom he alleged had also been behind what he called recent “choreographed demonstrations targeting him” to relinquish his ZISMWU position.
“My offices have been reduced to ashes and I have lost everything including very important documents.
“I think this is the work of those who have been demonstrating against me from the political front. I am now afraid that these attacks could get worse,” he said.
The arson attack, that was carried out in the dead of the night, left property worth an estimated $150 000 in ashes.
A Fire Brigade from Hippo Valley that was called to deal with the inferno battled valiantly to extinguish the fire, but could do nothing to stem the destruction of the offices, property and valuable documents.
Two weeks ago, hundreds of Zanu PF supporters were bussed to Hwarare’s offices where they staged a demonstration against him, accussing him of working with the decimated Mujuru faction.
Hwarare has lately been under a sustained attack from some Zanu PF elements who accuse him of playing a prominent role in the so-called Mujuru faction.
At the heart of the anger towards him is apparently his perceived refusal to nail former Labour Minister Nicholas Goche when the latter was accused of plotting to assassinate Mugabe late last year.
This happened during the chaotic run-up to the party’s damp squib “elective” congress where Mujuru and other party officials linked to her — including Goche — were ruthlessly and controversially kicked out of their Zanu PF positions.
Hwarare appears to have courted the wrath of his comrades when he distanced himself from lickspittle State media reports that had quoted him saying Goche had allegedly spoken to him about an impending war and the removal of Mugabe at the party’s December congress.
And as the murky charges against Mujuru, Goche and other’s have begun to crumble spectacularly, at least in the court of public opinion, because of a glaring lack of evidence — angry party hardliners are meting out their frustration on the likes of Hwarare and Mutasa, who have seemingly got in the way of their plans.
A Masvingo-based top Zanu PF official said the bombing of Hwarare’s offices was not just “desperate but also frightening considering that anyone linked to Mujuru could be subjected to similar attacks”.
“Today it is Hwarare and tomorrow it’s somebody else. Who knows where all this will end,” the official said ruefully.
Another Zanu PF official who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation said the party’s factional fights were also likely to see those toppled from their positions losing their farms and other properties — in a quest to completely destroy the Mujuru camp.
“This anarchy is just beginning. If anyone thinks that we have reached the bottom, just wait and see what will happen to the likes of (Didymus) Mutasa and others in the coming few weeks,” he said.DAILYNEWS