HARARE – Ahead of the Christmas holiday, Kadoma-based businessman Jimayi Muduviri (JM) donated food to Danhiko Trust (Danhiko) – an organisation for the disadvantaged and people living with disability – and invited First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa to take over the programme that was once ran by her predecessor, Grace Mugabe, raising questions over his true motives. Our Chief Writer Fungi Kwaramba (FK) sat down with Muduvuri; below are excerpts of the interview.
Q: What motivated you to make the donation to Danhiko; was it not a political gimmick?
A: I am a disabled person and I was actually invited by the directors of Danhiko, who said to me that since their patron Grace Mugabe was gone, they felt alone and wanted someone to assist them, so I bought some foodstuffs and gave them. When I was there, they also said that they wanted the first lady (Auxilia Mnangagwa) to take over the programme and I did not see anything wrong with that.
Q: But you were also a close ally of Grace weren’t you?
A: She was the first lady and in 2015 I invited her to my housing project in Kadoma. I also invited the then vice presidents Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is my uncle, and they graced the occasion. I remember very well, back then she did not attack anyone and during that event (former Zanu PF political commissar Saviour) Kasukuwere was not there. I can say without any doubt that back then she had not been hijacked by the G40 cabal.
Q: So why did she start attacking Mnangagwa?
A: I am not sure, but all I remember is that she started holding rallies where she was saying bad things about Mnangagwa and I initially went to the rallies unaware that the people were already on a programme to smear the name of my uncle. And when (Hurungwe West MP) Sarah Mahoka called the VP a duck, I called politburo member Pupurai Togarepi and we went and met the VP and we asked whether he was leading the Team Lacoste faction and he said he was a loyalist of President Robert Mugabe.
He then assigned me to go around the country’s provinces to look for the people who were calling him their leader. I told Kasukuwere and he said I was on a campaign trail for the VP and I had to abandon the mission, but I could not follow his orders since he was subordinate to the VP. I remember we attempted to go to Marondera and (former Defence minister) Sydney Sekeramayi said we were not welcome in the province. I then enlisted the help of war veterans, who told me that they were not campaigning for Mnangagwa, but were against what was happening in the party.
After that, I compiled a report that I took to Mugabe and he also gave it to his deputies and wife. The report showed that Mnangagwa was not leading any faction, but the fights continued. During our mission, the now VP Kembo Mohadi, who was State Security minister, called me to his office and asked what our mission was. I told him and he said go ahead.
Q: And why were you on the forefront attacking Kasukuwere; you were at the centre of the votes of no confidence against him?
A: The demonstrations against Kasukuwere were ignited by members of the (Zanu PF) women’s league who were not happy with Mahoka and so, we started to move against her. Remember what she had said about the VP. Kasukuwere warned her to resign and so the demonstrations exploded even in his province where I worked with MPs like Kazembe Kazembe. There was no way for him to hide. He phoned and threatened me but I was unfazed and so the fights raged on. However, when we thought tapedza munhu (we are finished with him), Grace said he had no case to answer and we were left shocked.
Q: Obviously he came for you when he regained his power. What did you do?
A: He came to Mashonaland West province and told people I had to go because I was a pawn of the VP, but before he moved for the kill, the whole game changed and he was on the receiving side. That is how I survived.
Q: And on that so-called Super Sunday, why did you not join other churches? Isn’t it that you lead one?
A: I did not go because I had better things to do. Grace had attacked my uncle and it was better to visit him than be with them. Of course, that was the last straw and the gods turned against them. The whole G40 cabal was there and there were baying for the VP’s head. That Sunday I called him and he said he was quitting politics. I actually think he resigned before he was fired on the following Monday.
Q: And lastly who is Muduvuri?
A: I am a businessman and also a politician. I do not aspire for any position but to see the country moving in the right direction. Lately churches have approached me and I am there patron, my mission in the church is to get rid of corrupt elements and improve the welfare of members and their leaders.