D-Day for Mutasa

THE Zanu PF politburo is today expected to decide the fate of former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa following his fallout with top party leaders including President Robert Mugabe after he challenged the way they conducted the party’s congress last month.

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Zanu PF national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday told journalists in Harare that Mutasa’s case was among several other thorny issues on the politburo’s agenda.

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Kasukuwere said the party’s former secretary for administration was likely to be expelled following recommendations by the Manicaland provincial co-ordinating committee.

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“Manicaland made recommendations and we have made it clear that we will not reverse their decision,” he said.

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If the politburo approves Mutasa’s expulsion, he would become the third senior party official to be axed after former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and former war veterans’ leader Jabulani Sibanda were shown the exit door over their alleged links to a plot to topple Mugabe.

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Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru has also been relieved of her government and party posts and reduced to an ordinary card-carrying member over the same allegations.

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Gumbo has, however, remained defiant claiming that he could not be fired from a party he co-founded.

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Mutasa angered his Zanu PF comrades two weeks ago when he published a damning statement denouncing the party’s congress resolutions claiming they were illegal.

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He has threatened to take the matter to court seeking nullification of the resolutions which confirmed the ouster of several party heavyweights, including himself, from the politburo and congress.

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In the statement, Mutasa claimed that Zanu PF had been hijacked by political upstarts, adding Mugabe risked soiling his legacy by associating with non-founder members of the ruling party.

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Mugabe, on his arrival in Zimbabwe last Thursday from his five-week-long holiday in the Far East, chastised Mutasa, describing him as “deranged if not near insane, a man with a small mind and a stray braying ass that cannot be corrected”.

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Meanwhile, some top city lawyers engaged by Mutasa and his team to fight the legal challenge against Zanu PF yesterday claimed they were being trailed and intimidated by intelligence officers so they could dump him.

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Although Mutasa’s lawyer Sobusa Gula-Ndebele said he had not been approached yet, we are reliably informed that some top city lawyers (names supplied) have been threatened.

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“I am Mutasa’s lawyer, it is not a secret,” Gula-Ndebele said.

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“No-one has approached me and I did not chicken out.

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“If it is indeed happening, that cannot be proper. No lawyer should be threatened for representing a client.

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“A lawyer can represent anyone, even those who will be doing so will need legal representation at any time in their lives. Everyone is entitled to legal representation and fair trial.

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“As lawyers, we are professionals and we represent anyone who comes to us as lawyers, who approaches us.” Gula-Ndebele said.

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He, however, declined to reveal when he would file the legal challenge.

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In a related development, Zanu PF youths and war veterans in Mashonaland Central reportedly demonstrated at Rushinga business centre on Monday demanding the expulsion of Education minister Lazarus Dokora from the party.

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The party supporters accused Dokora of working with the Mujuru faction and setting parallel structures in the province.

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Provincial secretary for administration Wonder Mashange confirmed the development yesterday.

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“Dokora has been setting up parallel structures in the province,” he alleged.

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“Last year, he took chiefs and councillors to Mozambique, where he told them to support Mujuru.

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“He is currently working with suspended members.”

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Dokora could not be reached for comment.