THE Zanu-PF Women and Youth League conferences have come and gone, a lot happened in the run-up to and during the conferences that saw President Mugabe take to the podium to declare the goings-on as criminal, barbaric and dirty. Our Senior Political Reporter Tichaona Zindoga (TZ)caught up with Cde Christopher, Mutsvangwa (CM), who speaks in his capacity as a WAR VETERAN, to talk about this and other issues.
TZ: Cde Mutsvangwa we talk at a time of reports of serious infighting in Zanu-PF manifest in factions battling to succeed President Mugabe, what is your assessment of the state of the party?
CM: The challenge that is befalling the party is that an ambitious coterie of political chancers that has also recruited lumpen elements with criminal intent are pursuing a fascist agenda as they employ Nazist tactics to try to wrestle power and then proceed to resurrect a post-Rhodesian political agenda. The coterie is totally opposed to the revolutionary history of the party whose regalia and banners they are so much wont to flaunt.
The sad and inescapable reality is they harbour the reckless aberration that they can displace or bypass those that were engaged in the most critical 1973-1980 period of the national liberation struggle. They dream of a vault to high office whence they will ensconce themselves to corrupt influence as a prelude to the restoration of a post-colonial Rhodesian order. They have a craving to undo all that the heroic struggle delivered to the people of Zimbabwe. From within the belly of the Party, they think they can do better where Tsvangirai’s MDC floundered on July 31, 2013.
These are putchist crankpots with no appreciation of statecraft. The only political card they are hanging on to is their coalescence around a pretender called Didymus Mutasa. Under the guise of banal revolutionary slogans and the trumpeting of Nicodemus allegiance to His Excellency President Mugabe, he toys with an ignorant aspiration to rule Zimbabwe. His roadmap to power goes through a self-styled role as kingmaker to new party leadership of his own fashion. He would hope to achieve this goal by sidelining H.E. President Robert Mugabe, the elected leader of the Republic.
Totally oblivious of his incapacity, Mutasa has been busy creating all sorts of office posts in the party and Government and according himself political titles like political guru of Manicaland Province. With no rule book he discards the party constitution and makes arbitrary decisions in the name of the President of the Republic then looks up to an un- elected Vice President Mujuru for defence and succour.
Gangster types have gathered under his umbrella to pursue a political agenda that reeks of Selous Scout tendencies of the yester epoch of the national liberation struggle.
What is remarkable is that all these putchist chancers who crave power so recklessly, never bothered to partake in that heroic national endeavour when the times so demanded. Others simply chickened out. Even more telling is the fact they cluster around Mutasa and his cohorts, leaders who never had anything do with the critical 1973-80 period of the armed struggle.
The only legitimacy they accord themselves is the hazy clamour for the political ascendancy of Vice President Mujuru to the top national post. Why they want to foist her on Zimbabwe outside of the circle of her other many wartime comrades and without bringing them into that exercise, only the putchist elements and perhaps herself can explain.
It is noteworthy that Mutasa has a long and notorious record of manipulating party ambition to his schemes of king-making.
His first victim was Edgar Tekere, who was misled to form the ill-fated ZUM. The paradox of it all, Tekere invited Mutasa, home village boy, as the war effort crested into final victory against racist Rhodesia. Tekere saw comfort in having a boyhood associate make it to the top hierarchy of the winning party. The plucky and fearless Tekere had in 1975 accompanied President Mugabe as a key aide, braving Rhodesian border patrols in the Kairezi-Nyanga area to cross into Mozambique. They both had an important assignment to resume the armed struggle from where assassinated Chitepo had left after falling victim to the menacing Détente Exercise of Henry Kissinger who, with uncanny plotting, strove hard to stave off the inevitable collapse of the white minority racist regimes of Southern Africa.
It would have made sense for pretentious Mutasa to wait out a few more months of the impending end of the war in 1978. In the event Mutasa would have flown home from years of exile in London direct back home to Harare. I am tempted to think a James Bond type in Britain must have tipped him about the imminent demise of racist white Rhodesia. So ducking the fate of just being another returnee from years of colonial refugee, he went on to cunningly assume the mantle of a great liberator and revolutionary by sliding into the ranks of the triumphant fighters.
Not surprisingly for the glorious heroism of the times went on to rub off him. It got into his head and he soon started positing as one of the great combatants of Chimurenga II. Truth be told, he had completely no role in that epic struggle coming as he did at the very tail end of that epic African military encounter.
On arrival in Maputo, he kept faith with his cowardly façade by refusing to inhabit the shared residences of either Zimbabwe House or Kim Il Sung or Agostinho Neto Avenues. Employing his proximity to Edgar Tekere, he wrung out a private residence for him and so he could “paramour his beautiful wife away from the watching Zanla guerilla comrades.” For everyone else long used to duck the murderous raids of racist Rhodesian security forces, we saw Mutasa as seeking a safe haven far removed from possible bombing by the marauding racists.
Thus long into national independence, Mutasa would pay back Tekere’s home village indulgent generosity by encouraging the inculcated ambition of the Secretary of Administration to break away from the Zanu-PF Party. He went on to form ZUM in direct challenge to President Mugabe. The quest for power became stronger than shared revolutionary bonds. In the event, Tekere’s political challenge fizzled out. Thereafter he lapsed into political obscurity and to a personal poverty that went on to rely on the kind and forgiving Mugabe. He would eventually die in political wilderness. Ironically he owes his national hero status to the same Mugabe he had been misled to despise by the feckless Mutasa.
The second political scalp from among the ranks of Zanu-PF cadres to be claimed by the same Mutasa is that of the vainly ambitious but completely clueless Simba Makoni. Like Edgar Tekere, home village politics came to play. The latter formed Mavambo to challenge Zanu-PF and its iconic revolutionary leader. He hoped to somehow garner votes that could have given him the clout to negotiate a coalition government with Tsvangirai’s MDC. He went on to flop dismally.
Now ever the busy body, Mutasa he has been angling to abuse the illustrious record of another cadre, the Vice President Teurai Ropa Mujuru. In a scheme that sidesteps fellow comrades who fought along side her, there is some coaxing at instigation of Mutasa and cohorts on VP Mujuru to make her challenge H.E, Mugabe. This conspiracy is directed at the man who has given VP Mujuru post independence high offices from the onset of the Republic, an honour and recognition that has not been accorded to noother of her peers.
This clandestine action is just way out of the collegiate consultation that is the hall mark of ex-Zanla revolutionary conduct. If caution is wont not to be exercised, the reckless Mutasa and his hair brain plotting may well succeed in destroying another prominent party cadre. How Mutasa has become adept at this game.
Q: As a war veteran Cde Mutsvangwa the Zanu-PF that we are seeing right now, particularly the one we saw in the run-up to the Youths’ and Women’s Conferences, is it a Zanu-PF that is adhering to the discipline and ideals of the struggle?
A: I emphasize I speak as a war veteran from the 1973-78 generation which went on to accord the national liberation war that critical mass and qualitative leap to dispense with racist colonial Rhodesia. We know each other well even in our tens of thousands of lucky survivors. The restraint, humility and discipline born out of that death and pain which we all travelled to deliver the freedom to Zimbabwe is always our inner compass, our dutiful command.
Luckily we have President Mugabe who we have grown to instinctively follow because he has never ever let us down in this long march. And the great living God has given him the bonus of a long life and an ever alert mind. This is tempered leadership wrought by fearless confrontation with a persistent enemy ever ready to change colour to the envy of the chameleon.
Now look who is challenging him? No other than the undeserving Mutasa we embraced as if from our wartime ranks. Without our efforts, he would have continued living the life of listless exile in far away London. Now he has the cheek to aspire to purge his liberators. Comrades Oppah Muchinguri and Monica Mutsvangwa were among his welcoming party to Maputo in 1978. Now he breathes fire and spits venom to hound them out of Manicaland Province. He even plans Stalinisque kangaroo courts to purge them as Party undesirables.
Mutasa is busy misleading the gullible and the ambitious that he is kingmaker. Yet he only has his vacuous war record to offer. He will surely fail and the blinking followers will only end up in trouble courtesy of their folly.
Q: It is known, in your party constitution, that you hold a Congress every five years, which is preceded by Youths and Women’s Conferences, how come the President had to rescue the Youth Conference at the last minute? Where were those tasked with organizing these indabas?
A: There is method in Mutasa’s indolence. Mutasa has been deliberately running down the party apparatus and intentionally sapping its capacity. He neglected all duty with the sole purpose to engender a climate where he and his cohorts would spawn frenetic chaos as a prelude to a putchist usurpation of power. Feigning laziness he was actually destroying the Party from his vantage point at the core of the leadership.
Concurrently he was being used to erect an alternative centre of power in his own power craving image. Of course he hates the Party and its record to the point of morbid fear.
And this is conduct by a very inept man with a very shallow mind. Thus his dereliction of duty is being abetted and rewarded by post Rhodesian elements who hanker for the return of the moribund order of the defunct racist regime.
Q: There were disturbing reports of vote buying and manipulation at the Youth Conference, how come the results were allowed to stand?
A: President Mugabe is fully aware of all the malfeasances. He has publicly and forcefully condemned both the schemers and the malleable accomplices. Please note that he is a very seasoned leader. He has been through other rebellious acts before in his very long political life. All I say is it would be unwise to underestimate his uncanny acumen to deal with this new situation. So all I would say is watch the space.
Q: There were equally shocking reports of abductions in the run-up to the Women’s Conference; and we understand you and a team of other party cadres had to donate beats to feed delegates, what’s happening?
A: The Youth League events bared all to see. This has aroused the attention of the well meaning rank and file of the Party and their well wishers. The donations are demonstrating that they will not allow the Party to go to the dogs courtesy of the commissions and omissions of Mutasa and his cohorts. This is why they are donating so generously to forestall the rot.
Q: Cde Mutsvangwa, how does Zanu-PF move from a well organised harmonised election campaign that delivered a resounding victory to shambolic preparations for its own internal elections? Is the chaos we saw in the run-up to the youths and women’s conferences real or contrived?
A: Mutasa has been totally derelict in his administrative role. This is contrived ineptitude so he can sap the capacity of the party. He conjures to create an intra-party climate amenable to and conducive to his conspiratorial designs, insane as they may be. It is inadmissible that a Party that organises every village, hamlet, town and city to defeat the well armed Rhodesian outpost of the mighty British Albion in 1979; a Party that withstands a decade and half of the combined UK-EU-USA economic and diplomatic assault to hyper-inflation and the disappearance of the national currency; a Party that blunts and overturns the internal subversion of Tsvangirai MDC. There is just no way that Party suddenly cannot rise to the task of feeding a mere 3000 youths on a conference, let alone fail to promptly and efficiently register them.
Q: There were reports that there was a group of people that was not happy with the ‘Mazowe Declaration’ that saw the Youths and Women’s Leagues endorse First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe to take over leadership of the Women’s League and wanted to do a ‘bhora musango’ on the conferences, as it were. What’s your take on that view?
A: On the Mazowe Declaration, it is crucial VP Mujuru comes out clear and unequivocal on where she stands on First Lady’s leadership invitation. A word of advice to her: We all know each other as comrades from the shared war effort. She should not be deceived by the post-independence titles of office. She was accorded them much later in our shared lives. Zvekare hapana comrade akanga akatakura pfuti mbiri mbiri ari mumwe. Taingove mumwe neimwe. Kupedzisa nekukanda pasi manyepo ekudonhedza helicopter yemuvengi akaumbwa naWebster Shamu kumupembedza kutiabviswe kuvamwe macomrades. Ngatisanyengedzwe nePovho nemagwara atavakudyidzana nawo mushure mekupera kwehondo yerusununguko.
Q: It is said Zanu-PF is always at its worst when holding a commanding majority, why this self-defeating behaviour just four years shy of another election? Why not consolidate the gains of 2013?
A: Serious infighting is real nascent and gestating rebellion by Mutasa and his cohorts as he aspires to crown VP Mujuru next leader. He is totally alien to ethos, credo, discipline and its collegial tradition that delivered military victory to ZIMBABWE in 1979. As a result he has resorted to fascist tactics with a putschist streak. Vote buying, hired gangs, kidnaps are his trade mark methods. He engenders chaos in order to create climate of mendacity and intrigue. He disregards strictures from the leader of the party as single handed ambition propels him to even more dangerous recklessness. The party is not new to these shenanigans of rebellion. It has templates of Vashandi 1977 and that of Hamadziripi-Gumbo-Taderera rebellion in 1978. Mutasa thinks he can bring his own recipe even without an practical hindsight to these ill fated uprisings
Q: Why does it seem like its business as usual in Zanu-PF, that you are not prepared to confront problems head on. We say so because nothing happened to the Bhora musango team of 2008, isn’t that same team behind the ongoing problems.
A: President Mugabe is a tried and tested leader who has survived much worse and seen it all. Our faith in him has never been misplaced. This could just be a storm in tea party for him. Bush and Blair were more menacing that some imbeciles inside the Party..
Q: The way forward, what can be done to foster a spirit of team Zanu-PF and credible internal democracy within the party?
A: What’s to be done: Mutasa shall soon realise that Party discipline will put him in his proper place. There also is the prospect of showing him the door. As a political persona from the margins of revolutionary party, he is devoid of any noteworthy credentials. As such he won’t be missed as he falls by the way side. If real war hero Tekere could not pull that rebellion fit off, what more of plastic Mutasa. He can only fare worse.