Why should anyone be led by you?

Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa MP Headlands Consituency
didymus_mutasaDidmus Mutasa (Pictured) is the member of parliament for the Headlands constituency in Manicaland Province.

He is currently the minister of state in the Presidents Office responsible for presidential affairs. Mutasa has cast a very long shadow of terror across the entire population of Zimbabwe. Opposition party activists, members of civic society, journalists and members of the clergy all have horrific accounts of nasty incidents of violence involving Mutasa. In 2005 he described Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a puppet of the west , a vassal of imperialism and a lost soul.

It appears Mutasa was echoing the speech of his master President Robert Mugabe who had just called Tutu an evil little Bishop. When Archbishop Pius Ncube protested that people where starving in areas around Bulawayo and the government was neglecting them, Didymus Mutasa called him , a heathen man who lies through his teeth, who needs his head examined for he is a liar. Terence Ranger, Emeritus Professor of history at Oxford, has described Mutasa as a ruthless and acquisitive politician who is notorius for using violence against his political opponents. His character change will never cease to amaze those who worked with him in the early 1970s and who described him as a near saint. They have watched their devout Christian fellow transform into a blood-thirsty hound.

In 2002 Mutasa said he would not care a hoot if six million people died in Zimbabwe due to severe food shortages at the time, which were compounded by the Aids pandemic. He publicly noted that the country would be better off with just members of Zanu (PF) and would not mind loosing what he called extra people, ostensibly referring to the millions facing death through starvation and disease. Clare Short, British noted that, Mutasas statement was unforgivable and that no one should ever forgive him. Even members of his own party have not been spared the wrath of his violent ill temper. In 2005 Mutasa was reported to have abducted a Zanu (PF) war veteran Nyakuedzwa and pounded him to near death. This unfortunate soul had dared challenge Mutasas nomination during Zanu (PF) primary elections in Rusape.

Above the law

Mutasa has been portrayed by his victims as the most powerful person in Zimbabwe. Mugabes blue eyed boy who is absolutely above the law. In 2004 he kicked the then MP for Chimanimani Roy Bennett in Parliament. This was after Bennett had failed to contain his anger after his patience had been stretched to breaking point when Patrick Chinamasa had venomously described his relatives as a band of thieves and murderers. Roy shoved Chinamasa to the floor, and was subsequently committed to jail where he languished in filthy and inhuman conditions for 15 months. Mutasa walked scot-free. No-one dared point a finger at him despite his public boasting about his kicking antics. He was not disciplined for his actions but was immediately promoted to Minister of State Security and Land affairs.

Armed with his new powers Mutasa launched the infamous Operation Murambatsvina (clean up) in May 2005. This exercise manifested unprecedented levels of brutality of the Zanu (PF) party and government. More than 700 000 poor families were displaced , through a wanton destruction of houses and purportedly illegal structures, some of which had been constructed before 1980.

Extreme poverty

Men, women and children were reduced to extreme poverty, their homes and livelihoods destroyed in a moment. They piled up in makeshift camps along all the major roads of Zimbabwe. A somber atmosphere clouded the nation, seething masses of desperate humanity with glaring signs of hopelessness written on their faces were everywhere with their worlds possessions balanced precariously on womens heads or in bundles under their childrens arms. This was the little they had managed to save from flames when troops of soldiers and the police had mowed their houses down and burned the rubble. All this was because Mutasa and Mugabe had been angered by the poor people who had apparently changed allegiance from Zanu (PF) to the MDC and therefore had to be punished.

In the run up to the presidential run-off elections in June 2008 Mutasa unleashed an unprecedented orgy of terror and torture of MDC supporters in Headlands, the whole of Rusape and its environs. Residents reported that Mutasa took over some properties and used them to house hordes of armed youths who he then used to terrorize MDC supporters in Headlands and Makoni constituencies. Below are accounts of some of the horrible incidents in which Mutasa was directly involved or sponsored.

January 3, 2008

A Prominent MDC activist Shepherd Maisiri who is a poor farmer in the Inyati Resettlement area has been relentlessly persecuted by Mutasa since 1999. His homestead has been burnt a record seven times in the past 10 years. He has been abducted and tortured by people who have been sent by Mutasa on numerous occasions that its a wonder to him that he is still alive.

The people who have been assigned by Mutasa to haunt him are Walter Rushambwa, Maxwell Chidzambwa, Punish Mhiripiri, Walter Mhepo (now deceased), Kainos Chidzambwa, Albert Makura, ZRP police Inspector Muchazorwa and Lovemore Manenji. At one time he was put into a jute bag, bundled into Punish Mhiripiris truck and dumped in Rusape dam only to be saved by fishermen laying their nets during that night. On 3 January 2008, Maisiri was in Harare when he was manhandled by two men who took him to a waiting car where he was confronted by Mutasa himself. Mutasa told him that they were going to finish off their struggle that day and he ordered his gang to drive off leaving a dumbfounded Shepherd along Samora Machel Avenue.

Later that day a man and a woman followed him to Mbare Musika. They boarded the same bus with him to Mutare, where he was arrested on arrival, put into cells and then released. The two people who had followed him from Harare were at the police station when he was released. Shepherd sensing danger managed to outmaneuver them and escaped to Mozambique that same night. He was in Mozambique until August 2008, but his wife was raped by Lovemore Manenji on 23 June 2008 as punishment for hiding her husband.

May 22, 2008

Taurayi Kamuchira was abducted by Zanu (PF) militia and taken to Chinyamukamani base where the youths led by Phillip Mushayi assaulted him with logs, iron bars and whips. He died during the assault. Mushayi told all the people who had been force marched to the base that all MDC supporters who were present had to learn their lesson, for what had happened to Kamuchira was going to be meted out on them as well, there was no going back and no one was going to arrest the Zanu (PF) cadres since Mutasa had granted them express authoritry to kill all people who supported MorganTsvangirai.

June 25, 2008

On the night of 25 June 2008 a gang of armed operatives and Mutasas youths wreaked havoc in Eagles Nest area of Headlands. They were seen driving around in two vehicles one of which was reported to be Mutasas Toyota venture. Masitafundikera Gumura was attacked at his home by this gang, they accused him of leading MDC activities in that area, they viciously assaulted him, and witnesses report that the attack was so ruthless that Gumura died during the assault. His wife Aquiline Sanzvengwa Gumura paid for her husbands sins when she was also assaulted. She sustained severe and although she was taken into hospital the following morning she died on 28 June 2008.

On the same fateful evening a gang of local Zanu (PF) youths accompanied by Mutasas operatives from Rusape pounced on Robert Ziyengwa and his wife at their home in Headlands. The unfortunate couple was guilty of supporting the MDC and urging other people to commit the same crime. The gang used pieces of wood, iron bars and gun butts to assault Robert and wife. The beating was too severe for the ageing couple and they both died on the spot.

June 25, 2008

Residents of the Eagles Nest now regard June 25, 2008 as the day the devil visited them, for many people fell victim to Mutasas gang of youths and CIO operatives from Rusape. Many MDC activists were lashed and slashed, the police refused to attend the desperate calls of the maimed villagers. The militia butchered the defenseless folks until the following morning, when they left, their job done, leaving behind a trail of blood and lacerated victims. Sandros Mandizha, another MDC activist who was also assaulted by this band of killers, died early that morning.

June 27, 2008

Taurai Zindomba another small scale farmer in the headlands area was attacked at his home by a gang of Zanu (PF) youths and operatives from Rusape. This barbaric gang used barbed wire and a knife tear out Taurais intestines, he died instantly. His brothers Abel and Sternly wept in grief and were savagely assaulted sustaining serious injuries, fortunately they survived.

July 30, 2009

On July 30, 2009 in Macheke resettlement areas, a 16-year-old boy Arnold Mosterd died after being beaten by Zanu (PF) supporters who accused him of supporting the MDC. Arnold was killed after he had asked for his outstanding wages from his previous employer a local Zanu (PF) Chairman Harry Munetsi. The seven people who killed Arnold where arrested by the police but Mutasa ordered their release. He ordered the villagers in the area to deal with any strangers who would come into the area inquiring about the death.

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