via Mutasa tasa: Demise of Cde Nyati | The Herald December 13, 2014
SACKED Presidential Affairs Minister and ex-Zanu-PF politburo member Cde Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa can be best described as a politician whose insatiable appetite for power led him from being a man who proves his critics wrong to one who proves his critics right.
Attached to this encyclopedic quest for power was corruption, moral decadence and brutal mentality — vices that amalgamated and eventually put his dirty hands in the cookie jar by plotting to eliminate President Mugabe. His oppression of both dissenting and constructive criticism within Zanu-PF was well documented. He staunchly believed in politics godfatherism, which, sadly, has no takers in this era.
Following his overdue sacking from Cabinet on December 9, 2014 — excitingly on the heels of his loss of status as Zanu-PF central committee and politburo member at the party’s just-ended elective congress — The Manica Post — was inundated with an avalanche of reactions by persons from all walks of life in Manicaland.
No demise has created a huge appetite for debate as that of Cde Mutasa — a pint-sized politician nicknamed “Number 9 or Nyati” — who reigned over Manicaland for decades as its untouchable political godfather.
Some white farmers expressed shock that the once powerful Mutasa exited the scene with the tail tucked between his legs since to them he had proved a reliable ally who devoted his time in Government and in the party protecting their personal interests.
The anxiety of the white farmers could be easily read as they were not assured of a replacement that would be as eager to cushion and camouflage their interests as was the case in the colonial times.
Worse still, the white farmers doubted if there would emerge someone as supremo, who is sufficiently strong and “principled” as Cde Mutasa to guarantee their continued tenure on the farms.
For starters, such sentiments had everything to do with Cde Mutasa’s constant and awkward friction with his once trusted lieutenants Cde Shadreck Chipanga, who tried to knock sense in his head without success.
The erratic performance of Zanu-PF at the polls, the “bhora musango” of 2008 which placed Manicaland Province as the worst performer, could be read as having been caused by Cde Mutasa’s imposition of unpopular and suppression of popular candidates who did not toe his line of thinking; call it a camp-building exercise poorly executed.
The love of power had corrupted him absolutely, marking the beginning of his undoing.
His frosty relations with the principled comrades like Cdes Chipanga and Patrick Chinamasa made interesting insight into who Cde Mutasa could have been with few people suspecting.
I recall in 2012 writing an article on Makoni’s (now defunct) DCC elections, where he persecuted me for correctly pointing out that Cde Mutasa’s preferred candidates — then fronted by Albert Nyakuedzwa — suffered a humiliating defeat in an election whose tremors were felt throughout Manicaland.
I was persecuted for merely doing my job — to tell it like it is — that “power had shifted from a disliked Cde Mutasa to former intelligence boss Cde Chipanga”.
Then Cde Webster Shamu, also sacked, was my minister and Cde Mutasa approached him at a Provincial Co-ordination Committee at Marymount Teachers’ College with a copy of the paper frothing with anger querying the truism of my report and demanding my sacking.
Now where is he? Who, again, plotted his demise at Central Committee elections held at 602 Hall, Rusape, three weeks ago?
Mutasa has sunk into political oblivion, and Chipanga, the man whose advice he despised with venom to the extent of suppressing and frustrating his bid for the Senate, should be having the last laugh.
Cde Chipanga orchestrated Cde Mutasa’s downfall by dispatching his lieutenants Cde Joseph Mujati (who later mobilised the votes of no confidence against Mutasa’s sidekicks, Ambassador John Mvundura, Elliot Kasu and James Kaunye).
Mujati rabidly rebutted concerted efforts by presiding officers hand-picked by Cde Mutasa to ensure his smooth sail uncontested.
Other opinions visited Cde Mutasa and it became next to impossible quoting individuals or representatives of groups; their sentiments sounded like they were all coming from one source.
In the interest of space, our report shall largely dwell on sentiments uttered by the vast majority of people in Manicaland, including a very small number of white people who sounded like they were transmitting messages from their black associates.
The messages were celebratory.
However, almost everyone who bothered to say anything was angry with the fact that it took so long to get rid of terror, factionalism, patronage and debauchery perpetrated by Cde Mutasa.
Images painted a moving disaster and reincarnation of the devil, as a few typical examples shall reveal.
Serious concern was expressed with regard to his position as Presidential Affairs Minister responsible for national security and the harm that his reckless attitude towards life and living could have had.
Committed female party cadres would shy away from active politics as they would be subjected to his erotic pursuits if they hoped to secure party positions or any favour — be it business capital or school fees for their children.
It was the general consensus that he would publicly declare that any female who hoped to access a council, provincial, national or parliamentary post would do so at his pleasure, pun intended.
There was general excitement by female cadres in the ranks of the revolutionary party that they would now work harder in anticipation of recognition because they felt whoever would replace Cde Mutasa was not likely to be half as mean and as menacing as he was.
The most bitter complaint was about skewed farm allocations, where literally all his relatives and cronies were each allocated a farm with a farm house and were given tractors and other farm implements.
Disgust was expressed with the way he would snatch other people’s wives, allocate them farms and political positions in Zanu-PF. A number of cases that were mentioned with chilling detail merely confirmed this revulsion.
As if the said moral bankruptcy was not enough, he would have a fleet of young girls, young enough to be his grandchildren, and unashamedly made them his wives.
The farm mechanisation scheme witnessed blatant discrimination in the allocation of implements, with some deserving cases ignored on the basis of personality clashes, thereby defeating the noble goal of making farming a national enterprise.
The distribution of inputs such as fertilisers and seed was an emotional subject, with selective deployment cited as unbecoming of a national figure and in this case the Presidential Input Scheme was often abused to the advantage of Cde Mutasa’s circle of cronies.
The traditional leadership in Manicaland and civil servants, especially those in Makoni District, expressed relief at the turn of events in the politics of Manicaland, citing the harassment that Cde Mutasa unleashed using his political muscle.
Mutasa also allegedly grabbed party commercial properties and houses for the benefit of his concubines. The Edro Motors Service Station, Makoni Country Club and Cold Comfort Houses in Vengere are some examples.
It was Cde Mutasa who was protecting Norman Sachikonye’s seizures of Rocking Stone and Zimati Kop Farms.
Farmers allocated five-hectare plots at Zingondi Farm had been served with verbal eviction notices by Cde Mutasa, who claims to have title deeds of the former Cold Comfort property.
Cdes George Ngirazi and Patrick Shorai Donono can testify.
On the traditional fraternity, it had apparently become an open secret that Cde Mutasa would interfere in the choice of who would ascend to the throne and this spanned a number of chieftainships. The Tandi Chieftainship, which claimed the scalp of Cde Chiringa, is a case in point.
Also the appointment of Mr Cogan Gwasira as the new Chief Makoni has been a talking point for the past five months or so.
His fall from grace in the Government and party sparked excitement and fresh speculation about the fate of the Makoni chieftainship as if the installation of Mr Cogan Gwasira as Chief Makoni had been done some twenty-four hours ago.
It was surprising to see people talk freely about how he would declare that he would not accept an MDC-T Chief in Makoni District and yet he played a big role in unveiling an MDC-T Chief as Newsday of November 28, 2013 reveals.
Even more interesting was the fact that the Gwasiras had threatened to sue him if he pursued his ambition to become Chief Makoni, citing the fact that Cde Mutasa was not both a Makoni and a Nyati.
Allegations that the now defunct Mujuru faction was working with MDC-T were qualified. It was argued that Cde Mutasa would not have reconciled with the Gwasiras and Sachikonye if he was not working with MDC-T.
Ishe Donald Kamba had long been touted as the bona-fide Chief Makoni, having long fulfilled the customary principles of succession relevant to Makoni traditions.
Besides, Kamba is reputed as a leading resource person on Makoni history and its traditions and well respected in his area of jurisdiction. It was fascinating to hear people within and outside his district call him the authentic Chief Makoni.
Contacted for comment on the demise of Mr Mutasa, Ishe Kamba said: “Mutasa is a close relative; his mother and my father’s mother were blood sisters.
“That notwithstanding, he had no qualms waging relentless campaigns to elbow me out of a chieftainship he knew belonged to me in every way.
“His ouster epitomises the type of evil that knows no boundary. My quest for justice through the courts in order to recover my chieftainship is emboldened by the fact that those who ascend to a chieftainship they have no relationship with must be decent and humble enough to recognise their shortcomings and their lack of connectivity to royalty.
“As for Cde Mutasa’s fate, I am deeply saddened that he failed to recognise the trust and respect by the President over a lifetime as abundant opportunity for him to reciprocate.
“I note also that he is not well and I wish him a quick recovery and hope that he will gather enough courage and strength to make meaning out of the life he still has to lead.”
We report, with sadness, the fact that we anticipated refreshing news outside what we have reported to no avail.
We, however, would like to seize this opportunity to wish Cde Mutasa and his family well. In particular, we would like to wish him a quick recovery. — The Manica Post.