HARARE – Former Cabinet minister and Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa, who admitted recently that he has hit hard times, is facing another predicament after his accounts were garnished by creditors.
Mutasa, who turned 82 last month, is Zimbabwe’s first Speaker of the National Assembly, and was once President Robert Mugabe’s confidante.
Early last month, he told the Daily News that he was struggling to send his children to school and liquidate his debts, including $70 000 owed to power utility — Zesa Holdings.
Mutasa now suspects that the garnish orders that have cleaned the little money he had in his bank accounts, were at the instigation of powerful figures in Zanu PF who want to sink him into poverty.
The veteran politician recently bared his soul, saying he was willing to meet with Mugabe and discuss the possibility of rejoining his party, on condition that the Zanu PF leader first apologises to him over the way he was sacked during the infamous purges that dogged the ruling party in the run-up to its congress in 2014.
“They (creditors) are garnishing my accounts. They take any little amount that is deposited in my accounts; I am beginning to suspect that there is a hand behind that. They took my furniture and, as if that was not enough, they garnished my account. I will confront them all,” an emotional Mutasa told the Daily News.
“I will phone the president. I will phone all of them one-by-one. I will not rush but I will take them on,” he added.
Things are so bad for the veteran politician that his family is on the brink of starvation.
Mutasa, who is now a pale shadow of the politician who wore designer suits and lived in the lap of luxury during his long career in government and Zanu PF, told the Daily News last month that he was struggling to pay his electricity bills.
“I can’t pay them (Zesa) with nothing. It is true that they say I owe them about $70 000 and I will not be able to pay it because I don’t have that kind of money and will never be able to get it.
“I am lucky here that I depend on borehole water and if I was using Harare water, I would not be able to pay, I am poverty stricken,” Mutasa told the Daily News about his financial situation.
“I am telling you the truth and it’s all because of the economic failure and very soon we might as well fail to pay for our food.
“I am not rich because unlike others, I did not even steal a penny when I left government and all that I was supposed to leave behind was properly accounted for.
“You are probably one of the first people that I have told my problems and one of the greatest (virtues one can have) is honesty,” he added.
Recently, he said he was open to re-joining Zanu PF but on his conditions which included receiving an apology from the party over the way he was sacked together with other high-profile colleagues such as former vice president Joice Mujuru and then spokesperson and Cabinet minister Rugare Gumbo.
On his mooted return to Zanu PF, he told the Daily News that he was still consulting his children who are based in the Diaspora.
“I am weighing my options but I should first talk to my kids who are based overseas and hear what they have to say on whether I should go or not,” said Mutasa.
However, Mutasa declared that he is not going to kowtow to those who say he should start at cell level once he is re-admitted into Zanu PF.
“They have nothing to tell me. I am not sure I can start as a branch member, why should I?
“When we brought back Jonathan Moyo, did he start from the branch? He even went to the politburo, it was up to the president to readmit him.
“So they should stop lying; if they don’t want me there they should just say so. (Mugabe’s spokesperson, George) Charamba spoke as the president’s spokesperson, but does it concern him? The case is between me and the president,” said Mutasa.
Recently, Charamba said Mutasa cannot set conditions for his return as odds were heavily stacked against him considering his current economic situation.
“He can’t set preconditions, for what? If he is comfortable where he is and what he is, he can stay there. He should never confuse a response founded on compassion for an invitation to return to Zanu PF. No one is interested in his return.
“He left Zanu PF on his own volition. If he wants to come back, he knows where to begin, he was the administration secretary; he knows the rules.
Those rules have not changed, kwete kuti ati westera time (he shouldn’t waste our time),” Charamba told the Daily News then.
Charamba said Mutasa was wrecking any potential for cooperation by attempting to set conditions for the president that the head of State must first explain his expulsion.
“The party does not owe him an explanation. He is not a member. If anything, he is an opponent. If he wants to remain an opponent, let’s meet on polling day.”