Mutasa attacks political rival

Itai Dzamara

ANTI-CORRUPTION minister Didymus Mutasa’s supporters last weekend attacked an aspiring Zanu PF candidate for next year’s general election in Makoni North, Manicaland.



ONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Mutasa’s followers assaulted James Kaunye, who wants to wrestle the Makoni North seat from Mutasa who is Zanu PF’s secretary for external affairs.


Mutasa, who was involved in a scuffle in parliament in May with opposition MP Roy Bennett, confirmed the attack on Kaunye.


“He was attacked by my supporters. But if he was attacked by Zanu PF members and supporters, that makes his membership questionable.

Probably it has to be asked whether he is a true member of the party,” Mutasa said.


The attack took place last Sunday as tension rises ahead of the ruling party’s primary elections later in the year.


The Zimbabwe Independent in Rusape last Sunday saw Mutasa’s supporters driving in four vehicles behind the minister’s Jeep Cherokee towards Kaunye’s farm.


Kaunye’s relatives alleged Mutasa’s supporters visited the victim at the farm where Kaunye and his wife were assaulted for trying to stand in Makoni North.


Kaunye was left naked after the attack. He was later admitted to Rusape General Hospital after he sustained serious injuries to the head and a suspected broken rib.


Kaunye’s assailants were arrested on Monday and appeared in court on Wednesday before they were released on bail.

Mutasa said he paid bail for them.


“Of course, I have to pay for my supporters. I have paid for 31, and it was $300 000 for each,” he said.


“But only 10 of them were involved, the rest were not involved. I am trying to find out how the others were arrested. I don’t understand. Yes, it’s a very interesting issue but I am not sorry for Kaunye, wherever he is.”


Mutasa claimed that Kaunye had provoked him by invading his constituency while he was attending a church service.


“I had gone to a church service in my constituency and Kaunye came to provoke me. He got what he deserved. Akabatwa neriva rake (He was caught in his own trap).”


Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed 42 people were arrested over the incident.


Zanu PF has been accused by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of using violence to win elections. The ruling party has however always denied this.