Mugove Tafirenyika 10 July 2017
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s first Speaker of the National Assembly Didymus Mutasa
who held many Cabinet posts before he was fired from Zanu PF in 2015, at
the height of the party’s infamous purges, has hit hard times as he is
struggling to send his children to school and servicing huge debts
including $70 000 owed to Zesa.
Mutasa, who turns 82 at the end of the month, is also battling to save
his top-of-the-range cars from being auctioned over outstanding fees to a
Things are so bad for the veteran politician that he has revealed he is
beginning to fear that his family could starve unless he gets help
“I can’t pay them (Zesa) with nothing. It is true that they say I owe
them about $70 000 and I will not be able to pay it because I don’t have
that kind of money and will never be able to get it.
“I am lucky here that I depend on borehole water and if I was using Harare
water, I would not be able to pay, I am poverty stricken,” Mutasa told
the Daily News.
“What is troubling me the most though is how it accrued to that amount
because that is what could accrue to the Rusape local authority for a
whole year and one wonders how all that accrued for one person?”
“I am telling you the truth and it’s all because of the economic failure
and very soon we might as well fail to pay for our food.
“I am not rich because unlike others, I did not even steal a pen when I
left government and all that I was supposed to leave behind was properly
“You are probably one of the first people that I have told my problems and
one of the greatest ones is honesty,” he added.
Mutasa is now a pale shadow of a politician who wore designer suits and
lived in the lap of luxury during his long career in government and Zanu
His sprawling Umwinsdale home was consistent with his current troubles as
the shrubbery and gardens were showing wilting stress due to lack of
During the interview, the former Zanu PF secretary for administration,
paused in between answers as if his mind was somewhere in the distance.
Mutasa was sacked from both government and Zanu PF together with other
party stalwarts – who included former vice president Joice Mujuru and
ex-Cabinet minister and the then spokesperson Rugare Gumbo – over
untested allegations of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
The former State Security minister has a huge family including children
who are still going to school.
He told the Daily News how he has to live with the pain of being a butt of
bad jokes by his former colleagues in Zanu PF who mock him over his
“I am an ex-combatant and according to the policy (War Veterans Act) my
children are supposed to be sent to school up to whatever level by
government and why is that not happening to Mutasa?
“That is all because of corruption so they are even laughing at me yet
they are the ones who are corrupt.
“Instead of laughing at me they should be asking why my children are not
going to school,” a despondent Mutasa told the Daily News.
Mutasa, however, said he was optimistic that his life and that of many
ordinary suffering Zimbabweans, would improve once Mugabe leaves office.
He said Zimbabwe needed a leader of the calibre of Tanzanian President
John Magufuli who would bring a radical transformation in the country.
“We pray sooner or later that they will change or some other authority
will come into power and change the situation for the better.
“I am so fascinated by a certain Kenyan professor, Lumumba, who says there
is need for the Magufulinisation of the African continent and I think he
is right especially looking at Zimbabwe because there is too much
“We have to look at Magufuli’s ideas and realise that Zimbabwe will not
grow economically in the face of corruption and now I am telling you about
my electricity bills because there is no money,” said Mutasa.
Mutasa’ attempts to revive his political career have not been met with
success as the party that he helped launch together with Mujuru, Gumbo and
other members after their expulsion from Zanu PF – the Zimbabwe People
First (ZPF) – has been beset with problems.
In February, exactly a year after its launch, things unravelled at the
ZPF when Mujuru fired Mutasa, Gumbo and five others on suspicion that
they were spying for Mugabe and Zanu PF.
Immediately after Mujuru’s announcement, Mutasa and Gumbo convened their
own press conference and announced they had fired Mujuru.
Mujuru is now leading the National People’s Party (NPP) which is battling
to stem mass desertions by disgruntled members.