Mutsvangwa: A lifetime of sackings

Source: Mutsvangwa: A lifetime of sackings -Newsday Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE’S political cauldron bubbled over this weekend with the abrupt firing of Christopher Mutsvangwa as the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs minister by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba announced on Saturday that Mutsvangwa had been fired, but did not give reasons.


He said: “The chief secretary has announced the removal with immediate effect of Honourable Christopher Mutsvangwa as Minister of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle Affairs.”

Mutsvangwa, a war veteran and long-time Mnangagwa loyalist, is no stranger to controversy.

His acerbic tongue has often landed him in serious problems.

The politician-cum-businessman has walked the same road several times in the past decade.


Mutsvangwa was fired as Mnangagwa’s special adviser just after the 2018 elections.

He had initially been appointed as the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services before he was made Mnangagwa’s special adviser in his first Cabinet, installed shortly after the November 2017 coup.


The information Czars in government tried to downplay the sacking.


“Mutsvangwa was not fired per se, but his contract and appointment to that role was not renewed. He continues to be referred to, and quoted as the President’s adviser, which is incorrect,” the Office of the President said then.

However, sources said Mutsvangwa was fired after he publicly accused another Mnangagwa ally, Kuda Tagwirei, of being the kingpin in the forex cartel in the country.

Mutsvangwa accused Tagwirei of allegedly getting preferential treatment from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through shady forex allocation as well as running a monopoly on the fuel supply.

Tagwirei, who is on United States sanctions list, was also a presidential adviser.

In December 2015, the Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial executive passed a vote of no confidence on Mutsvangwa and recommended his recall from Parliament.

This happened days after his wife Monica had a vote of no confidence passed on her by the Zanu PF Women’s League.

Mutsvangwa was accused of gross misconduct, disloyalty and treachery following his utterances in the media where he was quoted saying: “We will always respect the institution of marriage and he (Saviour Kasukuwere) is confused and conflating the institution of marriage and that of the State.”

On February 12, 2016, following a rally in Chiweshe held by then First Lady Grace Mugabe, and one in which she attacked verbally the Mnangagwa faction for having ambitions to succeed the late former President Robert Mugabe, a vote of no confidence was passed on Mutsvangwa by some members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) for allegedly disrespecting Mugabe.

They said the suspended members were bringing the association’s name into disrepute.

On February 15, 2016, other members of ZNLWVA met in Harare, where they declared support for Mutsvangwa and dismissed the vote of no-confidence passed against him and three other members three days earlier.

The meeting was addressed by the then ZNLWVA secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda.

In a Zanu PF politburo meeting held on March 3, 2016 in Harare, Mutsvangwa was suspended for three years for gross misconduct and disloyalty.

His wife, Monica, and Women’s Affairs secretary for Administration Esphina Nhari were also suspended at the same meeting.

The two Mutsvangwas would, however, remain Zanu PF National Assembly members for Norton and Senator for Manicaland, respectively.

Days later, in March 2016, Mugabe dismissed Mutsvangwa who was Welfare Services for War Veterans, War Collaborators and Former Political Detainees minister, replacing him with his deputy Tshinga Dube.

Mutsvangwa told NewsDay the following day that he did care about being fired because he preferred elective office to serving at the discretion of an individual.

Efforts to contact Mutsvangwa yesterday were in vain as his phone was not reachable while messages sent to his phone were not responded to.

But ZNLWVA hailed Mnangagwa for removing Mutsvangwa from Cabinet.

“The association humbly prays that the next appointee to this crucial ministerial position will be an individual who wholeheartedly subscribes to the country’s Constitution and the relevant statutes that recognise the sacrosanct role of the war veteran community and the nation at large in accomplishing the goals set forth in the National Development Strategy 1.

“ZNLWVA remains cognisant of the pressing need for social safety nets and the creation of a social and economic environment that benefits all members of society.

“The war veteran community, having made significant sacrifices for the liberation struggle and the advancement of Zimbabwe, stands united in its commitment to national development,” ZNLWVA national chairperson Andrease Ethan Mathibela said in a statement yesterday.

He said the war veterans strongly believed that the appointment of a minister responsible for their affairs required someone who understood the historical significance of their contributions.

“ZNLWVA reaffirms its dedication to working hand-in-hand with the government to foster social and economic development and to ensure the welfare of war veterans and their families,” he said.

Meanwhile, political analysts yesterday said Mutsvangwa’s dismissal from Cabinet was forthcoming.

“Mutsvangwa has always been a loose cannon. He’s known for speaking his mind, often without much filter, and that’s landed him in trouble repeatedly. His latest outburst might have been the final straw for Mnangagwa, who values control and dislikes dissent,” political analyst Pardon Taodzera said yesterday.