FOR failing, rather refusing, to restrain his mouth and for his astonishing lust for power, former Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa was expelled from the party on Wednesday.
He was sacked along with his relative, Temba Mliswa, who apparently takes after his uncle, Mutasa when it comes to a loose tongue, insolence and a false sense of bravado.
This brings to four, the number of former ruling party members to be expelled for their counter revolutionary behaviours since November. Jabulani Sibanda, an ex-war veterans leader and junior party member as well as Rugare Gumbo, the former party national spokesman were first to be expelled. The latter had initially been suspended for five years in November for shamelessly advancing the political fortunes of then Vice President, Joice Mujuru and undermining President Mugabe’s authority. Despite the fact that he was already serving his suspension, he continued making inflammatory anti-Zanu-PF statements in the media, leaving the party with no option but to expel him.
The quartet has proved to be incorrigible figures that saw themselves as superior to the party and its collective decisions. From November when he lost in Central Committee elections and his resultant failure to retain his Politburo post, Mutasa has been attacking the party. He has condemned the party congress held in December as illegal, its decisions null and void. The bitter man is threatening to take the party to court challenging the validity of the congress and the decisions it took.
Mliswa, who was voted out as Mashonaland West provincial chairman in the run-up to congress, has been behaving like a street fighter, often disrupting party meetings in Mashonaland West.
They both stretched the party’s tolerance levels too far so we were not surprised when new spokesman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo emerged from the Politburo meeting on Wednesday to announce that Mutasa and Mliswa had been expelled. The national disciplinary committee chaired by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko recommended their firing and the Politburo endorsed the proposal.
“He (Mutasa) went on to write to Sadc leaders appealing for their intervention in the party’s affairs. The committee treated his case as unique and extraordinary and determined that according to its rules, Cde Mutasa has continued to be unrepentant and has continued to issue statements, which are unhelpful to him. The Politburo has, therefore, expelled Cde Didymus Mutasa from the party, which renders his parliamentary seat (Headlands) vacant,” Cde Khaya Moyo said.
“On Cde Temba Mliswa,” he added, “he has also been expelled from the party on an array of charges ranging from insubordination, denigrating party leaders, interfering with the running of the party’s youth and women’s leagues in the province, extortionist behaviour and continually disrupting party meetings. His expulsion also renders his (Hurungwe West) seat vacant.”
Like the Mujuru cabal has typically conducted itself before, Mutasa and Mliswa over-estimated themselves, possibly thinking that Zanu-PF might tolerate them as they were MPs and it was reluctant to go for by-elections. They forgot that Zanu-PF is a powerful tide and two people cannot stop it.
While we are not surprised by Mliswa’s foolhardiness which caused his sacking, we don’t know what Mutasa thought he could achieve by his rebellious actions. He had been in the party for more than three decades, and saw heavyweights like Edgar Tekere trying and failing to upstage it.
We hope Zanu-PF cadres and Zimbabweans in general will take a few lessons from Mutasa and Mliswa’s fates.
Patience is one of them. Countless times, President Mugabe has implored Zanu-PF members to be patient and not seek to attain high political posts too fast. Time will always come for those who wait diligently. Mutasa wanted the president’s post for Mujuru and a more senior party position for himself. Party processes and procedures were going too slow for him, so wanted to propel Mujuru as early as December, even removing the President through elimination.
Furthermore, we learn the importance of respect for authority.
By disrupting duly constituted meetings and insisting that he was still Mashonaland West provincial chairman and by denigrating the December congress, Mliswa and Mutasa were effectively challenging the authority of the President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, President Mugabe. When you behave like they did, know that you are rebelling against your leader so prepare yourself for a proportionate response.
Linked to patience is the need for anyone in politics to know that everything does not always go by one’s designs or hopes. From time to time your plans can be frustrated. When that happens, simply embrace the new development and wait for better fortune next time.
Mutasa has demonstrated that he lacks patience, respect for authority and tolerance. It appears he did not learn much in his 30-something years of service in Zanu-PF and government.