HARARE - Former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa yesterday accused President Robert Mugabe of appointing “sick and crazy people” to influential positions which they are abusing shamelessly for personal enrichment.
Commenting on the recent grabbing of a farm owned by Christine Murembwe by Manicaland provincial minister, Mandi Chimene, Mutasa said it was “worrying” knowing that the president was now surrounded by “sick deadwood” that was just interested in their personal interests.
Mugabe reshuffled his uninspiring Cabinet yesterday — a move that analysts and the opposition said was driven by factionalism and not the quest to inject new blood, fresh ideas and much-needed energy into the country which is facing serious socio-economic problems.
“There is something not right about those people being appointed these days. Look at what Mandi is doing in Makoni, removing people simply because I gave them farms.
“Isn’t it people from Makoni are also Zimbabweans and legitimately benefited from the land reform programme when I was minister? To remove them is a reversal of the whole land reform programme,” he said.
The former close Mugabe confidante added that it was “saddening” that most ministers in the nonagenarian’s Cabinet regarded their positions “as platforms to abuse other citizens”.
“If giving people land was wrong, then anyone who benefited from the land reform programme when I was the minister should be removed from their farms.
“There is an illness within those people in power as we did not see that previously. We are seeing it now as these sick ministers are taking the law into their hands. Mandi in particular is sick and should be taken to hospital, as is the case with a lot of these ministers,” Mutasa said.
A number of ministers have hogged the limelight in recent months, mostly for the wrong reasons — with some of them being caught in embarrassing scandals that range from okaying farm grabs and living in obscene opulence while the majority in the country live in abject poverty.
And instead of focusing on fixing the economy that is now driven mainly by the informal sector, Mugabe’s administration is locked in a vicious succession battle as many bigwigs look at life after the nonagenarian’s time in office.
Recent revelations by controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe that the country’s two vice presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, report to her have also bolstered growing concerns that the country is in the hands of “clueless” people as alleged by Mutasa.
Just last week, Masvingo provincial minister, Shuvai Mahofa, was in the media for the wrong reasons, as she stood accused by her predecessor Kudakwashe Bhasikiti of sanctioning the invasion of his Rutenga farm.
Mutasa himself risks losing his Rusape house after he fell out with Mugabe last year.