BY SILAS NKALA
FORMER Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa has alleged that he was being persecuted by suspected Zanu PF activists and that graft allegations against him were a plot by the ruling party to have him arrested.
In a statement, Mutasa said the government and Zanu PF had engineered the corruption allegations.
“It is political vengeance and persecution. Unfortunately, it is led and supported by Zanu PF enablers in ZCTU who seek to hoodwink workers into believing that this is a genuine concern. Firstly, the report to Zacc (Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission) was made just before the past ZCTU conference,” Mutasa said.
“Zanu PF senior officials were already warning me of the impending audit and arrest. That is also why some publications were writing defamatory articles against me. In all the articles, they cited Zanu PF enablers within ZCTU despite their denials.”
He said he had nothing to fear as the charges were trumped up and the whole thing was political persecution driven by vengeance.
On December 9, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba warned that Mutasa would soon be caged over alleged “transgressions” and misuse of funds during his tenure at the helm of the ZCTU.
Moyo said reports of his “imminent arrest” were given prominence last week towards the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition annual general meeting to harm his chances of getting nominated for the chairperson position.
“This report was meant to be used to cause my arrest should the voting delegates’ numbers support my re-election. This would ensure I was removed from the conference processes and lose by default. This was put on hold when the other team realised that they could win.
“Secondly, this report is meant to silence me against the regime or its backers in ZCTU.”
Mutasa lost the ZCTU presidency in October to Florence Taruvinga, who became the first female president of the organisation since independence.
Taruvinga works for Zesa as a technician and was ZCTU’s first vice-president.
Valentine Chikosi and Nicholas Mazarura were elected first and second vice-presidents respectively, while Douglas Chiradza was elected as treasurer-general.
Japhet Moyo remains the secretary-general.