Home » Governance » Defiant Mutasa Urges SADC to Check Mugabe Excesses

Didymus Mutasa, now coming to terms with his reduced circumstances after he was sacked from cabinet and kicked off his high perch in the ruling Zanu PF party, was in defiant mood at the weekend as he attended to his ailing wife in India.

Mutasa, according to the State media, “grovelled” the most as he tried to save his party and government jobs after being linked to an alleged conspiracy led by former vice president Joice Mujuru to “illegally” topple President Robert Mugabe.

But the veteran leader fired him regardless, and on Saturday, the former presidential affairs minister dispensed with the pleading as he fumed defiantly from faraway India.

“We refuse to be chucked out of Zanu PF which some of us have been in for 57 years,” Mutasa told Peta Thornycroft of the South Africa-based Independent Foreign Service from the south Asian country.

“We appeal to SADC to adopt our position,” he added, probably without pausing to consider that Mugabe currently chairs the regional grouping.

Mutasa is himself in poor health and rang Mugabe from a South African hospital during the Zanu PF congress, telling the 90-year-old leader that he would be taking his wife to India for medical attention.

The phone call was a desperate but ultimately futile attempt to be spared from the brutal purges of top officials Mugabe believes were opposed to his desire to die in office whatever the consequences of that determination on the country’s struggling economy, a problem critics blame on him.

The former Zanu PF secretary for administration had openly stated his desire to take over as the ruling party’s national chairman and publicly declared he wanted Mujuru to succeed Mugabe.

As it turned out, Mujuru was fired as party and state vice president. The national chairman position Mutasa craved was scrapped while he was reduced to an ordinary party member.

Mugabe completed his purge by changing the Zanu PF constitution.

Before the changes, vice presidents and members of the key politburo committee were elected but, ahead of the sixth congress, Mugabe forced amendments to the charter to allow him to choose his own deputies and politburo colleagues.

Mutasa however, claimed that the constitutional changes were illegal, adding that the appointments of Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko as Zanu PF and State vice presidents also violated the party and national charters.

“We fought for ‘one man, one vote’ majority rule, which is not provided for in the current Zanu PF constitution adopted at the 6th congress,” Mutasa said.

“It gives all votes to the president alone and violates the supreme law of the country. It is therefore null and void, all that transpired at the 6th congress.”

He demanded that the ruling party reverts to the pre-congress status quo without revealing what he would do that did not happen.

“We call on Zanu PF to work as it was before the 6th congress which was itself unlawful,” Mutasa said.

He also appealed “to Zimbabweans to remain peaceful as we strive for the democracy that we fought for”.

Although Mutasa sounded defiant, Mujuru has indicated she would not challenge her ouster.

The former vice president congratulated Mphoko and bitter succession rival Mnangagwa on their appointments.

Speaking in an interview just after being served with her letter of dismissal from the government, Mujuru said: “I am not a fighting character.

“My background, I am a trained person. When you receive an order from your senior, you carry it out right through.

“That is how we were taught in ZANLA. That is how were brought up in Zanu PF.

“I signed for that letter (of dismissal) I even wrote a letter of acknowledgement and even thanking him (Mugabe) for his immense contribution in my life.”

Source : New Zimbabwe