‘Noone can expel me from Zanu PF’ – Defiant Mutasa

HARARE – A defiant Didymus Mutasa said yesterday that no one could expel him from the “real Zanu PF” — vowing to do everything in his power to “rescue” the strife-torn party from the brink of collapse.

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Pouring his heart out in an exclusive interview with the Daily News, as party hawks ratcheted up their vitriolic attacks against him by pushing for his summary expulsion from the former liberation movement, the strong-willed Mutasa said their “machinations” would come to nothing and he was at peace with the world.

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He also dismissed contemptuously the recommendation by his Manicaland home province for him to be expelled, saying the only Zanu PF that he knew and recognised was the one that existed prior to the “criminal congress” held in Harare late last year.

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“I want to know which Zanu PF they are talking about. Is it the Zanu PF after congress where they are members of, or which came to being after the 6th congress?

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“If it is that, I am not a member of that. I am a member of Zanu PF which goes up to the 6th congress and they cannot expel me from that and because they are not anymore members of that Zanu PF,” he said.

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Although Mutasa still fondly refers to Mugabe as Baba (father) he said his erstwhile comrades who participated in the damp squib “elective” congress last December effectively fired themselves out of the real “law-abiding Zanu PF”.

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“They all moved to their Zanu PF after their congress, which was illegal, and I don’t mind how many times they expel me from that because I have never been a member of it,” he said.

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The outspoken nationalist added that given the liberation struggle history that he shared with Mugabe, he was shocked that “Mafikizolos (Johnny-come-latelies) were now calling the shots in “the Zanu PF after congress” and “even advocating” for his dismissal from the “real” ruling party.

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He gave as examples of Mafikizolos, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Agriculture minister Joseph Made, both of whom, he said, had opted not to join the liberation struggle although they had been old enough to do so.

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Asked what had motivated him to be part of the hard-hitting statement that had so upset party hardliners as to want him to be expelled from Zanu PF, Mutasa said he had felt compelled to act after he realised that the party had not only diverted from its core founding values, but had also been “hijacked by Mafikizolos”.

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“What is motivating me is that a handful of people are misleading our president and I am trying to rescue him from that misleading group to restore his own standing, because as you can see I still have his painting in my house,” Mutasa said, pointing to Mugabe’s portrait hanging on a wall in his sitting room.

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The former Presidential Affairs minister, who not only lost his position in the party, but also in government after First Lady Grace Mugabe fronted and agitated for intra-party purges that also claimed the head of former vice president Joice Mujuru, added that his was not being driven by bitterness but was inspired by a heartfelt desire to rescue Mugabe and the nation.

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“I am very worried and I do not think the way he (Mugabe) is moving with this group of people is the right way for him, for us as a country or the region. It is not, definitely not.

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“People always point at (Information minister) Jonathan Moyo … because if you look at the whole group that is calling themselves Zanu PF and have given themselves positions in Zanu PF, none of them except (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa has a history in the liberation struggle.

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“(Ignatius) Chombo does not have that history, (Saviour) Kasukuwere doesn’t have, and in fact the rest of them have no history in the struggle at all and they are just taking this issue as if it is a playing matter.

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“There are a lot of people who lost their lives in the struggle, and we cannot handle them like this. It’s evil to handle them in such a way. We must respect their lives, we must honour their integrity and not change,” Mutasa said.

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He said contrary to the “false explanations” that were being given momentum by obsequious State media that those who were raising their voices against Zanu PF were doing so because they were bitter, Mutasa said he was “jolly-happy” that he had not been appointed to be part of the “Zanu PF after congress” politburo.

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“I am not bitter at all. I am actually very happy. In fact, I have never been happier than now because I would be very sad if I had been included in this group. I would have been very unhappy.

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“I am the happiest man. I am going to start again where we started with the Zanu PF they are destroying,” he said.

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Yesterday’s interview with Mutasa followed an unprecedented move by many party stalwarts on Monday of confronting Mugabe head-on — a development that has not only rattled hardliners, but is also truly shaking the ruling party to its core.

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Analysts also say the statement could possibly result in the party of liberation splitting down the middle.

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The party heavyweights and pioneers of the struggle, have bluntly called Zanu PF’s damp squib “elective” congress that was held in Harare late last year “null and void”.

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They also, ominously, pooh-poohed all the party appointments and changes that were made just before, during and after the controversial congress — pitting themselves for a titanic showdown with Mugabe, Grace and party hardliners who led the assault on Mujuru and all party officials who were perceived to be sympathetic to her.

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The statement, which was provocatively signed by Mutasa in his capacity as the ruling party’s secretary for administration “in the broad interest of democracy and in defence of the Zanu PF founding principles” called for the nullification of the entire process of “the so-called congress (last December)”, deeming it constitutionally flawed.

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They also agitated 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”.

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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”.

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The statement has shaken the local political world and prompted many serving Zanu PF bigwigs to proclaim in interviews with the Daily News that they were ready to join the disaffected members in their fight to “restore Zanu PF to its former self” and end the party’s dictatorship.

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“Just watch this space, we have suffered enough,” said a central committee member who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.

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“Since the liberation struggle, people have been treated unfairly and there is no justice in the party. We want Zanu PF to return to its founding principles and values and it is time that we all joined hands and ended this dictatorship,” the official added.