1 July 2017
HARARE – The sight of former Cabinet minister and Zimbabwe’s first Speaker
of the National Assembly Didymus Mutasa cutting a despondent figure, away
from the niceties that had dominated for long his political career, is a
reminder of how life can be.
Mutasa has hit the hard times as he battles huge debts while trying to
fend for his family in one of the most dramatic events for a man who lived
in the lap of luxury during his career in government as one of President
Robert Mugabe’s closest allies.
The veteran politician at one time was in charge of more than one
ministry, apart from holding influential posts in both government and Zanu
It is quite staggering that Mutasa finds himself in a spot of bother and
having no one to turn to as he sinks into difficulties.
For a man who had been in government for more than three decades, the
expectation would have been that he had invested in life after politics.
Sadly, his situation in which he is battling to save his property from
being auctioned, failing to send his children to school and having to
contend with a monster electricity bill, among other myriad challenges,
Mutasa’s troubles serve as a reminder to many how it is difficult for
these politicians to survive outside Zanu PF and government.
History is littered with many politicians, especially from Zanu PF, who
have found the going very tough once outside government. The late Enos
Chikowore, who held many ministerial posts before he lost Mugabe’s
confidence, died a desperate and poor man after he ran into financial
At the time of his death, Chikowore was hoping that Mugabe would
re-appoint him to Cabinet and coincidentally, he died after the
93-year-old had overlooked him.
Another political heavyweight, the late Nathan Shamuyarira, died when he
had hit hard times – having to rely on a prominent Harare property
businessman – for survival and upkeep.
His levels of poverty were laid bare when his house had to be given a
fresh coat of paint ahead of Mugabe’s visit to pay condolences to his
There are many others, both living and dead, who couldn’t handle the
realities of living outside the comfort zones provided by being in
government. Mutasa, by his own admission, didn’t steal a penny during his
time in government and has been relying on what he earned.
His is another case of how the mighty have fallen.