By Nokuthaba Nkomo
More details have emerged of rabble-rousing influence peddler William Gerald Mutumanje’s recent hatchet job on top Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials and businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei — all of whom he has fingered in corruption and the illegal trading of foreign currency — before backtracking spectacularly.
This comes as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) commissioner in charge of investigations, Goodson Nguni, told the Daily News yesterday that the graft body was itching to probe Mutumanje — who is more commonly known as Acie Lumumba.
“We are waiting for someone to write a letter with the allegations against Lumumba and after that we will ask the police to arrest him,” he said.
In the new details contained in another explosive recording of discussions on the hatchet job on senior RBZ officials and Tagwirei for which Mutumanje was paid $40 000 — and which the Daily News has got in its possession — he emphatically affirmed what he was reported saying by our sister paper, the Daily News on Sunday, yesterday.
“I want to go to Joburg for like a week and disappear from the noise. I don’t want to be part of this mess (the State capture saga and his allegations of corruption), however it ends.
“You know, my greatest worry with stopping or quitting or even changing narrative is will I be able to look after myself afterwards? The only reason why these people got me is they knew I was really in a tough corner.
“They knew my father wasn’t feeling well. My father needed an operation. It was actually almost like they tricked me because inini ndakaenda kuna (I went to) … (name of individual withheld on legal advice) and said aah vakomana (gentlemen), how can you guys leave my father suffering like this?
“You people makashanda mese (you worked together) and you are really going to leave him? Then they said no problem, we will look after him. But there’s something we want you to do,” Mutumanje said in the latest recording.
“But because at the time I wasn’t thinking, the only thing that was on my mind was ‘can you look after my father’. I made commitments and said ‘yes, I will do it’ — without knowing what it is.
“Mdhara akaenda kunorapwa zvakanaka (my father went for his treatment in India and all went well). I didn’t know I had signed my life away,” he added.
“So, pandakapihwa basa rekunzi enda kuministry of Finance (when I was given the Finance ministry job), in my head I thought I was going to assist the minister of Finance to communicate zvinhu zvekuministry of Finance.
“What I didn’t know is they already knew the detail. But I didn’t know the detail. I knew the position, not the detail,” Mutumanje said.
Asked by the person he was recorded talking to whether Finance minister Ncube was part of the plot, Mutumanje answered in the affirmative, claiming that the former banker had been heavily involved.
“I’m saying there is nothing that I’m saying that is coming from my head. Hapana guess work paya paya,” confirming further that he had been paid $40 000 in hard currency for the hatchet job.
“It was real desperation. I just lost my mother. So, psychologically the thought of losing a father right after losing a mother is traumatising. So, I panicked and I went to the only place I thought I could get help,” he added.
Pressed to come clean on the matter by his partner in the recorded message, Mutumanje said he knew “how to get myself out of it”.
“You know what I would like, if I had it my way. I want to be able to say, vakomana (gentlemen), so that you don’t say … I owe you anything, here is your money. So, let’s agree that I don’t owe you anything.
“But after that I know that they’ll be so bitter about it. You know OB once said never get into a fight with someone who has more money than you, because they can do so much more than you can,” he said.
This bombshell story comes after Mutumanje was last month briefly and irregularly appointed as the head of a communications taskforce in the Finance ministry.
Ncube was later pressured to sack him after he made staggering allegations on Facebook, on supposed illegal foreign currency dealings at the central bank — claims which shook Zanu PF and the government to their core.
In that social media blast, Mutumanje named the four senior RBZ officials and Tagwirei as being at the centre of illegal foreign currency dealings — leading to the precautionary suspension of the central bank executives by governor John Mangudya.
Mutumanje was first reported by the Daily News on Sunday claiming that he had been paid $40 000 dollars to smear the RBZ directors — Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa and Azvinandaa Saburi.
In the first recorded voice message, Mutumanje also revealed seemingly nonchalantly that he had “sold his soul to the devil” by accepting the money — which he claimed he needed desperately to send his ailing father for treatment in India.
“Hi mukoma (brother), please get hold of me, I have been trying to get hold of you. Ndakakumbira sisi (I asked sister) Linda to get you through Tineyi, but no one is getting back to me.
“I need you kuti mundisvitsirewo message kuna mukoma K (Tagwirei). I have no way of getting through to him and you know I am very compromised at the moment. I can’t even call him directly without compromising myself.
“From the bottom of my heart, and anyone who knows my heart and you know me, there is no way I would do this (smear people),” Mutumanje said in his intercepted first message, apparently meant for an associate of Tagwirei.
“I know I am even compromising myself by sending this audio note. It’s just that I really need you to get the message to him. Please get hold of me. I need you to help me navigate myself out of this mess. It’s an absolute mess. Very frightening, gory things are being plotted.
“How I found myself right in the middle — forget even the middle, in the front of it — is a myth to me. I know I am compromised,” Mutumanje added.
“I know I had a problem and you know what my problem was and you know I asked for help. There wasn’t anyone paying attention to my needs and in the end I think I sold myself to the devil to get it done and here we are, for nothing in return.
“I just want you to get the message kuna mukoma. You know there is no way people can be fired from the RBZ because of Lumumba. Are you serious?
“Makazvitarisa imimi (looking at it) knowing this system you really think Lumumba is the reason why people were fired from RBZ,” Mutumanje said.
He also made it clear in the first voice recording that he had been used by politicians in the hatchet job, before making further astonishing claims that a war was about to erupt between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.
“This fight is inevitable. There is a real fight starting between number one (Mnangagwa) and number two (Chiwenga).
“If I am going to be useful, can I please be useful to people who are my friends and who will also look after my interests than for people who are simply using me like the way you use a condom … you use it and throw it away. I hope you get back to me,” Mutumanje said.
Meanwhile, the former Zanu PF youth league official posted a new message on his Facebook page yesterday, saying this time that he never received payment from Ncube.
“Let’s set the record quickly, I have never received any money from @MthuliNcube, clearly Queen Bee has now set sights on destroying his image so he can be replaced with someone you can capture. Oh Queen Bee, I almost let you go, I really did, now PLEASE google ‘cuddle death’,” he said.
The message was curious as he did not deny the substance of the Daily News on Sunday’s story. In addition, his reference to not getting payment from Ncube was interesting, as the paper never made that claim. Daily News