By Maggie Mzumara
HARARE – Ousted MP for Headlands, Didymus Mutasa, yesterday came out guns blazing, saying Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda erred in expelling him from the august House on Tuesday and that since its “illegal” congress last December, ZANU-PF has no legitimate leadership to run its affairs.
Speaking exclusively to the Financial Gazette, the fired former ZANU-PF secretary for administration said Mudenda, as a member of the governing party, who also sits in its powerful Politburo, ought to have recused himself from the matter since he was an interested party.
Mutasa who ironically was the country’s first black Speaker of Parliament said his expulsion from the legislative assembly, which he has been part of since independence in 1980, left him with no choice but to take the matter to court.
He is already in the High Court with another case filed on Tuesday where he, along with Rugare Gumbo (the party’s former spokesperson) are challenging their dismissal from ZANU-PF, basing their arguments on the legality of the party’s congress, which ran from December 4 to 6, 2014.
There was drama in the run-up to the congress as several ZANU-PF heavyweights were removed from their positions for aligning themselves with Joice Mujuru, who was President Robert Mugabe’s second in command at the time.
Mujuru was later to suffer humiliation when she was stripped of the vice presidency for plotting against her boss using unconstitutional means.
She denies the allegations.
Mutasa was among the top ZANU-PF officials, along with Mujuru, to be demoted to mere card-carrying members of the party.
His dismissal from Parliament, together with his nephew, Temba Mliswa on Tuesday, became the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Mliswa was the MP for Hurungwe West.
On the very day he was expelled from the National Assembly, Mutasa and Gumbo took their grievances to the High Court, begging the court to rule the ZANU-PF December congress null and void.
Yesterday, the former minister of Presidential Affairs who was responsible for intelligence and security matter in the office of the President until December 2014 said he would file the case against Mudenda’s ruling within the next eight days.
“They continue to do illegal things. VaMudenda is part of the system that is illegal as such he should have recused himself from expelling me,” he said.
“He is a member of the Politburo and I am saying that (the) Politburo, which they formed last year, is illegal. He being the Speaker and a member of that Politburo, he should have recused himself but he did not and that I will not accept… So that puts him (Mudenda) and me in dispute. I will now, therefore, seek someone who will rule between him and me. I am going to contest his decision in a court of law.”
Mutasa has been the fly in the ointment to President Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF since end of last year.
He told the Financial Gazette yesterday that in his protest against the December congress, he was working with all members of the party who were dismissed from their positions, including Mujuru.
Mujuru has been quiet ever since he left government and the top echelons of ZANU-PF last December.
It was only on Monday when Mujuru was quoted in some sections of the private press rebutting accusations that she had dabbled in witchcraft to aid her presidential ambitions.
Mutasa also repeated claims that their group had previously worked with Simon Khaya-Moyo, who was demoted from being the party’s chairman to spokesperson.
Yesterday, Mutasa told the Financial Gazette that ZANU-PF as it was currently constituted was illegal and that this included their congress, Politburo appointments that were made in December as well as the dismissals that were done before and after the congress.
The once very close confidante to the President also disputed even the revolutionary leader’s presidency.
According to Mutasa, him and others who were fired from the party or government are the original ZANU-PF. The structures which were elected in December and later were a new and “illegal” ZANU-PF.
“I am still in ZANU-PF. They are the ones who left the original ZANU-PF with their new constitution. Some of us stayed behind with our old constitution,” Mutasa said.
He insists he is still the party secretary for administration and that he remains MP for Headlands.
Mudenda could not be reached for comment by the time of going to press as he was said to be in meetings.
Neither could party spokesperson, Khaya-Moyo, be reached, but earlier when he was asked by the media to comment on Mutasa’s claims that they used to work together he had said. “I don’t comment on tissues, I comment on issues.” Financial Gazette