Former War Veterans minister Christopher Mutsvangwa (CM) — a key ally of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa — had a forgettable week after he was suspended from the Zanu PF politburo for three years on Thursday and lost his Cabinet post the following day for attacking First Lady Grace Mugabe.
He was scathing in his response to the way President Robert Mugabe has handled his war against Grace’s faction —G40 — in an interview with our senior reporter Everson Mushava (EM). Below are excerpts of the interview.
EM: What is your reaction to the decision to suspend you from the Zanu PF politburo for three years?
CM: I neither care for that politburo post, nor indeed for the ministerial appointments.
After my bitter experience in the Chinese ambassadorial post, I have a general loathing for assignments that solely depend on an individual’s discretion. You will recall I spurned the offer of a second ambassadorship to Germany in 2006.
I came back to politics voluntarily in 2000 to help confront the menacing threat of a nascent MDC. This was after years in lucrative cellular and internet business.
Between 2007 and 2013 I was again out of government commission. As a war veteran-turned-businessman, I have no craving for a public job if it is not elected.
So Norton constituency yes, war veterans’ chairmanship yes.
Politburo and Cabinet appointments I don’t really care. In fact, two days ago I asked HE [His Excellency] the honour of dismissing me because I only came in to save the revolutionary ethos and not to be served.
I gave him the privilege of the opportunity to dismiss me only out of my long time respect and deference.
He had so said in his last state of the nation address (Sona). Frankly, after what I have gone through in my life, this Sona threat is like water on duck feathers.
EM: What did the president say when you asked him to dismiss you?
CM: He reminisced about my long association with him since 1975 when I and four other university students absconded from University of Rhodesia to join the Chimurenga.
EM: Do you think G40 was instrumental in your suspension?
CM: They now have clutch hold of State House. But I am in a different mould from the vapid and vacuous gang of four of Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwao.
They are clutching on the robes akin to those of Jiang Jing and her Mao era gang of four lunatics of the cruel Cultural Revolution.
EM: What was your main objective in your meeting with the president and what is your message to him today?
CM: I wanted him to understand that over the years, I developed autonomous self-actualisation capabilities stemming from the sustained hostility against me by his government over the years even as he personally evinced partiality to me.
So I have no sobs over the abuse of his high office to hound me.
In fact, in 1993, when I was being hounded out as ZBC director-general, it was the last time I ever pleaded to be kept in a government job.
Ever since, I have worked hard to ensure I have measure of autonomy from dependence on the public purse. In 2000 I watched in horror and consternation as MDC youthful but ill-fated luminary, the late Learnmore Jongwe, cut through staid and aged Nathan Shamuyarira [late former Information minister] in public television broadcast interviews.
Goaded by my wife Monica, I raced back to political re-entry from my lucrative telecoms and internet business.
Patriotic Zimbabweans followed my epic debates against MDC adversaries on SABC, DStv and even vaunted BBC.
Often times I went so far as to find myself. Later I ended up as ambassador to China, again to give a cutting edge to the Look East Policy as western sanctions were ratcheted against Zimbabwe. Indeed, I came to serve and not to be served.