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They wanted me dead: Mutasa

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ZANU PF secretary for administration and Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa has said some officials in the ruling party Zanu PF wished him dead during his recent illness.

CLAYTON MASEKESA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Mutasa also said Zanu PF officials trying to torpedo Vice-President Joice Mujuru in the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe were literally daydreaming.

Mutasa, currently the fourth most senior person in Zanu PF after Mugabe, Mujuru and party national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo, said he was now “fit as a fiddle” and ready to steer party programmes.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Manicaland women’s league inter-district conference at Marymount Teachers’ College last week, Mutasa confirmed that he recently flew to India for treatment after getting unwell.

Mutasa said while some of his colleagues in Zanu PF had wished him dead during the time of his illness, he had since fully recovered.

“I know there are some people who have taken interest in my illness. There are others that were actually looking forward to my death,” the veteran politician said. “Is my illness all that very important?

“I was not around because I was not feeling well. I went to India and received treatment. I am back and in good health. Nyathi is alive and lively.”

Nyathi is Mutasa’s totem. Mutasa could, however, not disclose the nature of his recent ailment which forced him to fly to India for treatment. He also did not disclose those in Zanu PF who wished him dead.

But it is believed he was referring to opponents who belong to a rival faction in Zanu PF.

Mutasa is considered the Zanu PF “godfather” in Manicaland and is linked to a faction loyal to Mujuru.

The faction is allegedly fighting another one linked to Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in the battle to succeed 90-year-old Mugabe.

Both Mujuru and Mnangagwa have repeatedly refuted claims they are leading any factions in the party or habouring presidential ambitions.

In his address to the women’s league conference, Mutasa urged delegates to take Zanu PF business seriously and abide by the party’s constitution.

He said Zanu PF’s constitution was clear in that Mugabe was the leader of the party with Mujuru as his deputy.

“Those harbouring succession thoughts ahead of Mai Mujuru are daydreamers,” he declared.

“I do not know why some few people are against Mai Mujuru. She never imposed herself.

“She was elected into her current position in 2004 at our congress. This was according to the provisions of the constitution and we should respect our constitution.”

He said officials who were already positioning themselves as Mugabe’s successors other than Mujuru were doing that out of “madness”.
“There are some people who now want to take President Mugabe’s position.

“The president is still alive and I do not know why some people are now talking of succeeding him,” Mutasa said.

“May I remind them that our constitution says if the president decides to retire or otherwise, the second in command takes over. In this case it is Mai Mujuru.”

He claimed that some party officials were now holding secret meetings plotting ways of overtaking Mujuru.

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