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Mutasa fires another salvo at Mugabe

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FORMER Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has fired a fresh salvo at President Robert Mugabe, criticising the veteran politician’s Look East policy and land reform programme.

SENIOR REPORTER

In a wide–ranging interview with the Mail&Guardian last week, Mutasa said he was surprised Mugabe was also now labelling him a fool when they had been working closely together for the past 35 years.

Mutasa said he regretted some of the policies implemented by Zanu PF and was worried that farmland grabbed from white farmers had not been effectively utilised while millions of Zimbabweans have settled in South Africa.

“I have always wondered about our Look East policy that confines Zimbabwe to Russia and China. You then see how faulty some of our policies are,” he said, adding that some of the policies were never really discussed in Cabinet and the Zanu PF politburo.

He labelled Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Environment minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Information minister Jonathan Moyo and Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao as the architects of the Zanu PF dictatorship, adding that each of them had “skeletons” in their cupboards.

“The reason he [Mugabe] gave me high posts in government was because he trusted me and suddenly, if he says this man is a fool, then they will say why has he not seen it before?” he said.

Mutasa said Mugabe refused to engage him when he sought audience with him ahead of the party’s December congress and claimed that his hands were tied.

He said Mugabe implored him to understand that he was not responsible for what was happening.

“I tried to discuss it with him (Mugabe) personally, but he was determined to go ahead, and he said, ‘This is none of my business. This is a matter . . . being done by the Women’s League and I have no hand in it, and Mutasa you must understand’,” Mutasa said.

He said he could not present his grievances to Mugabe directly because during the run-up to the congress, there was so much violence and many people were barred from attending “the illegal congress”.
Mutasa, who was fired from government alongside former Vice-President Joice Mujuru on allegations of trying to topple Mugabe, has threatened to take the party to court seeking nullification of the congress resolutions.

He said he was taking the court action for the benefit of the country’s young people.

“My own position is that there is nothing that I will gain personally from this process, except to bring back legality to the party,” the former Presidential Affairs minister said.

“What we are doing is for the benefit of young people, who do not want to be led by a group of gangsters who simply come up one day and tell lies and say to the President: ‘You are going to be killed’. As you can see, I am an old man and I gain nothing personally from all this.”

He said the situation in Zimbabwe had the potential to destabilise Sadc because Zimbabwe was part of the regional bloc, adding that he was still awaiting a response from the Sadc chair — Mugabe.
The former Zanu PF strongman said it was unfortunate that in Zanu PF, leaders had no restrictions on how long they could stay in office, adding that the party was crying out for democratisation.

He, however, said he still held Mugabe in high esteem despite their recent fallout, adding that the current fights in Zanu PF had brought the country to a standstill.

“For the rural people, their bread comes from the growing of maize and when you go around you don’t find much (of it). Then you realise that these people will have to kneel down somewhere to beg for their bread and butter. If you have got any conscience at all, you feel absolutely sad, very sad,” he said.

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