HARARE – The Zanu-PF politburo has expelled former secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa. The two join a growing list of former VP Joice Mujuru allies being purged from the party.
The decision to expel Mutasa and his nephew Mliswa, was reached following deliberations by the Zanu-PF National Disciplinary Committee chaired by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said by-elections would be held in the two constituencies held by the two. Khaya Moyo announced the pair’s expulsion at a Press conference after Wednesday’s Politburo meeting.
“On Cde Didymus Mutasa, a detailed report by the NDC was presented to the Politburo by the Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa, highlighting the disparaging remarks said by Cde Mutasa against the party and the party’s leadership and his rubbishing of the Congress as illegal, null and void.
“He went on to write to Sadc leaders appealing for their intervention in the party’s affairs.
“The Committee treated his case as unique and extraordinary and determined that according to its rules, Cde Mutasa has continued to be unrepentant and has continued to issue statements, which are unhelpful to him. The Politburo has, therefore, expelled Cde Didymus Mutasa from the party, which renders his parliamentary seat (Headlands) vacant,” Khaya Moyo said.
Mutasa and Mliswa now join former spokesman Rugare Gumbo and former war vets chairman Jabulani Sibanda into the bin of those discarded.
Despite a previously close relationship with President Mugabe, Mutasa has fallen out of favour after being accused of supporting former Vice President Mujuru in her alleged bid to assassinate and or topple Mugabe.
Mutasa has also angered hardliners in Zanu PF by threatening to drag the party to court over the congress held in December. He argues that the entire process leading up to the congress was mired by violations of the party constitution including outright intimidation.
Mliswa has also continued to be a thorn in the flesh of many who view him as belonging to the Mujuru faction. Reports of his continued disruption of Zanu PF meetings effectively sealed his fate after his initial ousting as Mashonaland West provincial chairman.
“On Cde Temba Mliswa, he has also been expelled from the party on an array of charges ranging from insubordination, denigrating party leaders, interfering with the running of the party’s youths and women’s leagues in the province, extortionist behaviour and continuing disrupting party meetings.
“His expulsion also renders his seat vacant,” Simon Khaya Moyo said.
Meanwhile Mliswa said “I don’t have a problem with that it will give me peace of mind.”
Meanwhile, the Politburo also readmitted Bikita West legislator Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, Mudzi representative Jonathan Samkange and Daniel Garwe who contested and lost the Murehwa North seat in the 2013 harmonised election as an independent to Tendai Makunde.
Khaya Moyo said the Politburo had accepted the trio’s appeals against their expulsion from the party.
“On Dr Kereke, he was expelled from the party in 2013 after he stood as a candidate for Zanu-PF in the Bikita West constituency contrary to the party position, which recognised Cde Elias Musakwa. However, the party itself had duly signed Kereke’s papers somehow. Dr Kereke wrote to the NDC to have his case reviewed and it took sometime, but I can tell you that the view of the NDC is that Dr Kereke’s appeal should be upheld and he should retain his full membership of the party,” Khaya Moyo said.
On Samkange who also ran as an independent and won the Mudzi seat in the 2013 elections, the Politburo also accepted his appeal.
“We have accepted his application obviously meaning that the processes of parliament will take their course and we shall most likely have a by-election in that constituency,” he said.
Samkange welcomed the Politburo’s decision.
“Finally justice has been done. I have been exonerated on the stand I took after I had been unlawfully and unjustifiably disqualified to stand as a Zanu-PF candidate. I also want to thank the First Lady, Dr Grace Mugabe who also exonerated me by exposing Ray Kaukonde and people like Didymus Mutasa for their machinations against the President.
“I was one of the first people to say Kaukonde was up to no good and I am happy that I have been vindicated because I stood for the right thing. I have been a member of Zanu-PF since the 1970s when I was a student at the university and my record has been straightforward since then,” Samkange said.
Garwe also welcomed his readmission into the party.
“I am happy with the decision taken by the party because I feel I was unfairly treated when I was disqualified. I am happy to be back in the party and will do everything to ensure the growth of the name,” Garwe said.
“I am very happy that my party Zanu-PF has corrected the anomaly that had been artifically created by Mr Didymus Mutasa that I was not a member of Zanu-PF yet I have always been,” said Kereke.
“Mine is, therefore, not a case of re-admission as some had wrongly intepreted it, but that of re-confirmation to clear all and any shred of confusion that Mr Mutasa had created.”