via Mutasa: Behind the bitterness | The Herald June 26, 2015
FORMER Zanu-PF secretary of Administration and ex-Presidential Affairs Minister Mr Didymus Mutasa is broke and is being pursued by creditors and service providers.
It has emerged that Mr Mutasa used his political clout while in Government as a shield and survival arsenal.
Reliable sources told The Herald that Mr Mutasa annexed a neighbouring Rusape Town Council low-density house — Number 4 Mbuya Nehanda Street (also known as Stand Number 160) — “for security reasons” when he was minister.
“He demanded that council leases him the house close to two decades ago. Out of fear, council consented. After taking over the house, Mutasa refused to pay rates and is still in possession of the property as we speak,” said the source.
Following his sacking, council is now claiming back its property.
It has, however, offered him to buy the house as a sitting tenant, but his pockets are empty.
This gives council the chance to reclaim its property — a mansion by Rusape standards. Council this week communicated its decision to Mr Mutasa.
In a letter to Mr Mutasa dated June 24 2015, Rusape Town Council secretary Mr Joshua Maligwa wrote: “Pursuant to our letter dated January 6 2000 and March 17 2015, council at its 291st Regular Full Council meeting resolved through resolution FC14/05/15 that: council offers you to purchase the house at stand 160 Rusape Township and developments thereon at a cost of US$45 000.00.”
Council gave Mr Mutasa seven days to accept the offer or it repossesses its property.
“You should accept the offer within seven days of receipt of this offer letter and make the full payment by 31st December 2015. Should you fail to take up the offer, council will be obliged to retain and take possession of the house. Please be guided accordingly.”
As if that is not enough, Makoni Rural District Council (MRDC) is also pursuing Mr Mutasa for non-payment of rentals for his farm on the outskirts of Rusape.
He is failing to pay the $3 per hectare fee and now owes MRDC $5 670 for last year. The rentals are payable annually.
Mr Mutasa was allocated 400 hectares of land at Lonecop Farm during the land redistribution exercise.
When he was Minister of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, he used his office to annex neighbouring farms including one that belonged to national hero Cde Josiah Tungamirai.
Council had to institute legal proceedings to force him to pay the rentals.
Unable to raise the $5 670 to MRDC, Mr Mutasa is understood to have offered a payment plan.
“We give them invoices every end of the year. Didymus Mutasa did not respond. We referred the matter to our lawyers and I am informed by the lawyers that he has offered a payment plan,” said MRDC chief executive officer Mr Edward Pise.
“He has offered to pay $500 a month, but the problem is that another $4 800 in rentals for this year is almost due.”
Council sources said Mr Mutasa refused to settle the debts while he was still a Government minister.
When asked why the MRDC appeared to target Mr Mutasa only among those failing to pay rentals, Mr Pise said: “Among politicians with farms here, Mutasa is the only one who was failing to settle his debt.”
The Herald is also reliably informed that Mr Mutasa is failing to settle electricity bills for his Lonecop Farm believed to have ballooned to thousands of dollars.
“He was recently switched off by Zesa and ordered to make a down payment of $30 000 and this means he owes the power utility a lot in bills,” said a source.