Former Presidential Affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, has warned Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to zip up “in his own interest” or risk being exposed as a charlatan who played an insignificant role during the liberation struggle.
Responding to Mnangagwa’s frontal attack on him and other liberation struggle stalwarts at a rally in Headlands on Tuesday, Mutasa warned yesterday that he would unleash a “treasure trove of damning information” that he had on the VP if the post-congress Zanu PF strongman continued to “mouth falsehoods” and act maliciously.
Brushing off Mnangagwa’s utterances that Mutasa did not play a significant role during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle, the former close confidante to President Robert Mugabe said ominously in an interview with the Daily News yesterday that “those who live in glass houses (Mnangagwa) should be extra-careful about throwing stones”.
This was after Mnangagwa told Zanu PF supporters that Mutasa had allegedly spent most of his time in exile in Mozambique holed up in his wife’s house there rather than contribute tangibly to the liberation effort.
But Mutasa rubbished the claims as “utter nonsense”, while also dismissing Mnangagwa’s assertions that he had fled the capital Harare after receiving news that Mugabe had been soundly thumped by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the 2008 presidential elections.
The 2008 polls were later widely discredited as a farce after desperate ruling party hardliners delayed the announcement of the election results for weeks on end, before employing barbaric methods to retain power.
While the MDC has always maintained that it won those elections hands down, the fallout between the warring former Zanu PF comrades is threatening to reveal salacious details of what really transpired when Mugabe and his party lost those elections to Tsvangirai and the official opposition.
In fact, Mutasa revealed yesterday, Mugabe’s inner circle — including Mnangagwa — had been “scattered around the country” during that period of June 2008 when the announcement of the results of the presidential elections were deliberately delayed as authorities worked to manage the situation.
“We were all in our constituencies during that time. Iye (he) Mnangagwa was also in his constituency,” he said.
Further mocking Mnangagwa for abandoning the Kwekwe constituency for the comfort of a “tailor made” seat of Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe, Mutasa also said that the VP was “a well known loser who prefers to run away” when the going gets tough”.
“We all know he is a loser and he failed to win in Kwekwe and ran away. When I heard the results (of the 2008 elections) I quickly came to State House. I was the only one who stood by the president during that day until others started trickling in,” Mutasa countered.
Analysts predict that the brutal purges in Zanu PF that have seen the expulsion of former top officials such as Mutasa, Rugare Gumbo and former Vice President Joice Mujuru from the party, will soon result in the disgruntled members “baring their souls” about Zanu PF’s secrets that have kept the ruling party in power since 1980.
Mutasa said pointedly yesterday that individuals in Zanu PF, including Mnangagwa, had “a lot of skeletons in their cupboards”, which would embarrass them and shock the nation if they were exposed.
“He was trained to kill but he cannot kill the truth. He should not say zvinhu zvenhando (nonsense) because we know a lot about him. He should just shut up, otherwise tinomupfumura (we will expose him).
“When he was released from detention in Zimbabwe, he went to Zambia and stayed there. I will not say much about those days. What I know about Mnangagwa is not for public consumption for security reasons. I will not speak much, at least yet,” the former senior Cabinet minister said.
Bernard Manyadza — a former member of the Zanla High Command whose nom de guerre was Parker Chipoyera, and who trained top military officials during the liberation struggle such as Air Force commander Perrence Shiri and Army general Constantine Chiwenga — has in the past said that he only met Mnangagwa once in exile and never heard of him.
“I didn’t know him. I met him once at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka when I was introduced to him. That was the time when people were arrested in Boroma, the time we had Zimbabwe Liberation Council, and we said to him since you know Zambia can you help us rescue comrades in Boroma so that we take them to Mozambique but he said he could not assist because he wanted to complete his studies,” Manyadza recently told the Daily News.
Mnangagwa, whose alleged political ruthlessness is captured in his nickname Ngwena (the Crocodile) has been an enigma to many Zimbabweans, with another war veteran alleging yesterday that he was “a minor league player” during the liberation struggle, who only came to the political forefront towards the end of the liberation struggle as a presidential aide.
However, Mnangagwa has described himself as “soft as wool” and that the moniker Crocodile came from the famous Crocodile Gang that allegedly blew a train in Masvingo during the liberation struggle — a group he says he was a member of.