ZANU PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa was last week “roasted left, right and centre” by officials who accused him of causing factionalism and imposition of candidates.
BY PATRICE MAKOVA
But Mutasa attempted to hit back at them by announcing that the Manicaland provincial executive had been dissolved with an interim one set for appointment soon.
However, Zanu PF national chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo who is leading a team probing the dirty factional fights in the province, said no such action had been taken.
Moyo and his team were in Manicaland for the past two days following a petition written to President Mugabe by officials who wanted him to rein in on Mutasa.
Sources said the meeting was a no-holds-barred one, with the petitioners fighting vociferously for the lifting of the suspension of provincial chairman, Mike Madiro and provincial youth leader Tawanda Mukodza.
They argued that the party was now stronger in Manicaland since Madiro took over the leadership of the party.
“Our discussions were very frank with accusations and counter accusations being made. Mutasa would repeatedly shout ‘lies, lies’ at accusations that were being levelled against him,” said an official.
He said the petitioners were saying Madiro and his deputy Dorothy Mabika were being harassed on flimsy and unsubstantiated allegations.
“They were also saying Mutasa should stop interfering with the day-to-day running of district and provincial structures. Mutasa was also accused of harbouring vice-presidential ambitions,” said the official.
But the Zanu PF politician stunned his critics among them Zanu PF women’s league boss Oppah Muchinguri and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa when he announced at the end of the two-day meeting that the provincial executive would be dissolved.
“When Mutasa was giving a vote of thanks at the end of the two-day probe, he simply said his critics can say whatever they want, but he will remain the leader of the province,” he said.
“Mutasa said he will dissolve the provincial executive and appoint an interim one.”
Another official said while most people present were stun-ned by Mutasa’s declaration, Moyo and national commissar, Webster Shamu remained quiet.
“But at the end of the day, we realised that the probe team may have come to Manicaland with a position already. Mutasa is at the centre of the probe and we wondered where he got the power to announce that the provincial executive was dissolved,” he said.
A Mutasa loyalist said there was no way Mugabe would support the ouster of his “right hand man and blue-eyed boy” of decades.
“If the plot had succeeded, what was going to stop the petitioners from targeting Mugabe himself in the near future?” he said.
Another Mutasa supporter said while the petitioners had claimed that the petition was authored by Zanu PF Manicaland leadership, it was proved that not everyone had been consulted about the plan.
Another official claimed that 10 traditional healers had been hired to try to influence the decision against the dissolution of the provincial executive. The intelligence was accused of meddling in the Zanu PF factional fights.
Those said to be in support of the petition include Muchinguri, Chinamasa and Chimanimani legislator Monica Mutsvangwa. Mutasa was on the other hand supported by Politburo member Munacho Mutezo, central committee members, Freddy Kanzama, Enock Porusingazi as well as former provincial chairman Basil Nyabadza, as well as a vocal group of war veterans.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said he was yet to be briefed and Mutasa was not answering his phone yesterday.Moyo said the probe team would compile a report to be presented to the politburo, adding it was up to the politburo to decide what action to take when the report was out.
A storm had been brewing for over a week now after Zanu PF officials met at Muchinguri’s house in Mutare where they allegedly drew up the petition.