Opposition parties have said beleaguered former Zanu (PF) secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa should not expect any outpouring of sympathy over his woes at the hands of his former party as it was only proper that he takes a dose of his own medicine.
Mutasa claims his erstwhile comrades are after his life, deploying state security machinery to eliminate him ahead of the by-election in his constituency which he is determined to contest.
The former Zanu PF chef was until three months ago, chief of Zimbabwe’s security system which he claims has now been unleashed on him.
Mutasa, who was Presidential Affairs minister before he was kicked out of the party, said last week that soldiers and secret service agents had been deployed in his constituency to thwart his campaign. He said soldiers had no job to do in rural areas and should be removed and sent back to the barracks — just as opposition parties have always said ahead of every election, with Mutasa giving them a deaf ear.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said Mutasa has never been a good example of a democrat and should remember the violence unleashed on innocent people in his former constituency.
“The history of politically-motivated violence in his Headlands constituency is well-documented,” Gutu said.
“A few years ago, we all know what happened to a young boy called Christpowers Maisiri who perished in a house fire in an incident of politically-motivated violence in Headlands.”
He said the opposition party was pleased to note that Mutasa will now be able to appreciate what the MDC-T had always been complaining about concerning violence, as well as the several electoral malpractices that were routinely practised by the Zanu PF party.
“Mutasa is now witnessing for himself how painful and frustrating it is for competing political players to deal with the terroristic and violent nature of Zanu PF campaign tactics,” Gutu said.
“To us in the MDC, Mutasa is tasting his own medicine. The chickens have come home to roost. We sincerely hope and trust that his current agonising and trying experience will help in moulding Mutasa into a tolerant politician who is a true and committed democrat.’’
United MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said it was good that Mutasa was coming face-to-face with Zanu PF’s dirty campaign tactics.
“What goes around comes around. What we are against is injustice wherever it manifests. Democracy starts in the party system. How do you expect democracy in the country when a party in government is failing in that regard?” asked Mafume.
Asked whether his party sympathised with Mutasa and other Zanu PF officials that have come under attack from Mugabe, Mafume said: “We always welcome everyone who sees the light in the road to Damascus and transforms from being a persecutor; his Damascene moment is critical to Zimbabwe.”
“If it’s genuine, we welcome him. We are in the business of winning hearts and are prepared to work with those who want democracy to prevail,” Mafume said.
Mutasa claimed that there were plans by Zanu PF to kill him before the by-election. He alleged soldiers have been sent to his Headlands constituency in a bid to intimidate him and ensure he doesn’t contest.
“I hear there is a plan to kill me during the campaign for the by-election in Headlands. That must be exposed,” Mutasa said, while also claiming soldiers had already been deployed to the constituency that fell vacant following his dismissal from Parliament at the instigation of Zanu PF last week.
“Soldiers should be removed from rural areas. They are being misused to campaign for the illegal party candidates. Those party candidates should campaign for themselves without misusing state institutions like army, police, CIO and other civil servants,” he said.
Army spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel, Alpheus Makotore could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Ironically, in 2011 Mutasa dismissed then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after the opposition leader had complained of interference by army generals in politics by making political statements.
“Tsvangirai should stop hiding behind unreasonable claims that soldiers are disturbing him. It is his inability to run his party that is making him a failure. He should just run his party in peace and if he has failed, he should find someone else to run it,” Mutasa said then.
“He should not be saying those things about soldiers, saying President Mugabe is ill and all those stupid things,” he said.