MUTARE — Embattled Zanu PF Secretary for Administration, Didymus Mutasa has lashed out at his critics, accusing them of causing irreparable damage to the party in the province.
Report by Clayton Masekesa
Mutasa singled out Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa and women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri for being behind the recent petition to President Robert Mugabe, which accused him of dictatorship and fanning divisions in Manicaland.
The petitioners, who allegedly met at Muchinguri’s residence in the affluent Murambi suburb in Mutare, warned that if Mutasa’s actions went unchecked the party would lose again in the forthcoming elections, as it did in the 2008 polls.
Mutasa said organising a meeting to petition Mugabe behind his back only showed that Chinamasa and Muchinguri were the ones at the forefront of causing problems and bringing confusion in the party.
“There are some grudges and political differences that are tearing apart the party,” he said. “I wonder why people like Chinamasa and Muchinguri can lead others in holding a private meeting behind my back and draft a petition that is full of falsehoods to the President. In fact I am now telling them that
they are the ones that are perpetuating the destruction of the party through such clandestine meetings.”
Mutasa said if the petitioners had some questions, they should have approached him instead of writing a petition.
“I was ready to answer them. Whether they like it or not, I am their leader and I am above them,” he said.
The veteran politician who is currently ranked fourth after President Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru and party chairman Simon Khaya Moyo said there was a faction that was accusing him of orchestrating the suspension of provincial chairman, Mike Madiro.
“The truth of the matter is that I did not have a hand in the suspension of Madiro. Those people accusing me should know that I did not send Madiro to do whatever he did that led to his suspension. I am surprised that all the blame is now on me,” said Mutasa.
Muchinguri and Chinamasa could not be reached for comment yesterday. They have however reportedly distanced themselves from the plot to oust Mutasa.
Apart from Chinamasa and Muchinguri, others who are alleged to have attended the meeting include Energy and Power Development deputy minister Hubert
Nyanhongo, suspended provincial chairperson Mike Madiro, acting provincial chairperson Dorothy Mabika, Buhera North MP William Mutomba and war veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba.
Madiro, provincial youth leader, Tawanda Mukodza and three others were suspended early this year on allegations of defrauding diamond companies in Chiadzwa. They have denied the allegations and police investigations are said to have reached a brick wall after the diamond miners refused to testify.
The accusations and counter accusations by the top Zanu PF officials have exposed the deep factionalism in the province that has led to some party members predicting another defeat in the coming elections
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said the party’s politburo was expected to come up with a position on the issue this week.
“The party will come with its position over the problems in Manicaland after we have been guided by the views of the party supporters in Manicaland,” he said.