Didymus Mutasa

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The Honourable
Didymus Mutasa
MP
Minister of State for Presidential Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
13 February 2009
President Robert Mugabe
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement in the President's Office of Zimbabwe
In office
April 2005 – 13 February 2009
President Robert Mugabe
Succeeded by Sydney Sekeramayi
Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office in charge of the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Programme
In office
February 2004 – April 2005
President Robert Mugabe
Speaker of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe
In office
1980–1990
President Canaan Banana
Prime Minister Robert Mugabe
Preceded by John Ruredzo (Southern Rhodesia)
Succeeded by Nolan Makombe
Personal details
Born (1935-07-27) 27 July 1935 (age 79)
Southern Rhodesia
Nationality Zimbabwean
Political party ZANU-PF
Occupation Politician
Profession Farmer
Religion Catholic

Didymus Noel Edwin Mutasa (born 27 July 1935)[1] is a Zimbabwean politician who served as Zimbabwe's Speaker of Parliament from 1980 to 1990. Subsequently he held various ministerial posts working under President Robert Mugabe in the President's Office. He has been Minister of State for Presidential Affairs since 2009[2] and has also served as ZANU-PF's Secretary for Administration.[3]

Family background and education[edit]

Didymus Mutasa was born in 1935 in Rusape, a town close to the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border in Africa. He was the sixth child of a devout Christian couple.

Mutasa is a former student of Fircroft College of Adult Education in Birmingham, UK. He attended the Access to Higher Education Course.

Political career[edit]

Before independence he was chairman of the Cold Comfort Farm society, a non-racial cooperative community near Salisbury (as it then was). This was located on a farm formerly belonging to Lord Acton. It was promoted by Guy Clutton-Brock and others.(Personal visit in 1971).

Following independence, Mutasa was Zimbabwe's first Speaker of Parliament from 1980 to 1990.[4] He has served as the Member of Parliament for Makoni North[5] and as a member of the ZANU-PF Politburo;[6] he is the party's Secretary for Administration[3][7] and has also served as its Secretary for External Affairs.[8]

In April 1998, Mutasa, in defending President Robert Mugabe, said that if Mugabe were pressed to step down, then the entire Cabinet and Politburo should step down along with him, because, in Mutasa's view, if Mugabe had truly "stayed for too long and misgoverned", then those who had governed with him, "including those who are calling on Mugabe to step down", must have done so as well.[6] In 2002, he controversially said that it would be a good thing if the population were halved: "We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who supported the liberation struggle. We don't want all these extra people."[4]

He was appointed as Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office in charge of the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Programme on 9 February 2004;[5] he was then appointed as State Security Minister in mid-April 2005, following the March 2005 parliamentary election,[7] later Minister of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement in the President's Office.[9]

In the March 2008 parliamentary election, Mutasa was nominated by ZANU-PF as its candidate for the House of Assembly seat from Headlands constituency in Manicaland.[10] He won the seat with 7,257 votes against 4,235 for Fambirayi Tsimba of the Movement for Democratic Change, according to official results.[11]

In 2007, he was involved in a bizarre hoax involving a witch doctor and refined diesel gushing from a rock.[12]

Background[edit]

In 2002 the Zimbabwean government seized the farms of ten citizens of the Netherlands who resided in Zimbabwe, ostensibly as part of the government's land reform. An international tribunal in Paris, France summoned Mutasa to testify about the seizure in November 2007. Mutasa acknowledged on 12 August 2007 that the Zimbabwean government took their farms without their permission and without compensating them monetarily. The farmers are represented by British lawyer Matthew Coleman, assisted by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and pay no legal fees as these are picked up by AgricAfrica, a British-Zimbabwean organisation. The court is expected to rule on their case by March 2008. The farmers are asking for US$48 million (33 million euros) in compensation and the government has pledged to reimburse them when it is financially possible. If the government does not compensate the farmers and the court rules in their favour then they may seize any property of the government equivalent to what they are owed as long as that property is outside Europe, including foreign aid from the World Bank. The government also seized the farms of 50 Europeans, citizens of Switzerland, Germany, and Denmark who will soon be heard by the tribunal. The European Union sanctioned top-members of Zimbabwe's government with a visa ban in protest of the government's abuses, but lifted the sanction so Mutasa could defend the government at the tribunal.[13]

On 12 June 2007, Mutasa announced the government planned to deport all whites, saying, "The position is that food shortages or no food shortages, we are going ahead to remove the remaining whites. Too many blacks are still clamoring for land and we will resettle them on the remaining farms."[14] In December 2009 it was again claimed that Mutasa was behind some of the farm invasions.[15] [16]

Film appearance[edit]

Didymus Mutasa is set to be featured in the Pan-African film Motherland (2009) as one of the speakers on land reform in Africa.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Page at Zimbabwean Parliament website at the Wayback Machine (archived September 29, 2006).
  2. ^ "Cabinet sworn in amid chaotic scenes". NewZimbabwe.com. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  3. ^ a b Cris Chinaka, "Zanu-PF decides plan of action", Reuters (IOL), 4 April 2008.
  4. ^ a b Trevor Grundy, sector=OPIN "Whatever Happened to Didymus Mutasa?", Institute for War Reporting (kubatana.net), 2 October 2006.
  5. ^ a b "Mugabe rewards loyalists in new Cabinet", New Zimbabwe, 9 February 2004.
  6. ^ a b "Mugabe should not quit alone – minister", Zimbabwe News Online, Edition No. 18, 15 April 1998.
  7. ^ a b "MP's sworn in, new ministers appointed", SADOCC, 16 April 2005.
  8. ^ Basildon Peta, "ANC invites Mugabe to attend party conference", Cape Times, 13 December 2002, page 5.
  9. ^ [1], Parliament of Zimbabwe.gov.zw
  10. ^ "Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Names Poll Candidates", The Herald (allAfrica.com), 15 February 2008.
  11. ^ Results page for Headlands, sokwanele.com.
  12. ^ [2]
  13. ^ Mugabe Government Admits Zimbabwe White Farmers Were Wronged Voice of America
  14. ^ [3] The Zimbabwe Guardian
  15. ^ "Farming family forced to flee after threats by land invaders". SW Radio Africa News. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  16. ^ Mutasa, Muchinguri Lock Horns Over Farm Seizure Standard
  17. ^ Motherland Film

External links[edit]