CONSTITUTIONAL and Parliamentary Affairs minister, Eric Matinenga, has revealed that he contemplated resigning from the coalition government twice over issues related to his ministerial mandate and “unacceptable” politics inside his MDC-T party.
Report by Paidamoyo Muzulu
Matinenga will quit active politics when the coalition government’s term comes to an end making him the first minister to resign from politics after serving just one-term in office.
Matinenga said he was dissuaded from resigning by his wife who argued that he had a national duty to serve until the end of his term despite his misgivings.
“I am disappointed but I don’t regret it,” Matinenga said. “There were two occasions when I decided to resign. The first was in the early stages of the coalition government and the second was much later. However, on both occasions I had a serious discussion with my wife who advised me to just hang in there.”
He added: “One of the reasons was in relation to my mandate as a minister and the second was the unacceptable politics in my party (MDC-T).”
He, however, refused to shed more details saying he could only do that once he was out of government after the next polls widely expected in August.
Matinenga said he will return to law practice at the Advocates’ Chambers and dismissed the perception that politics pays saying he is leaving a poorer man.
“For the first time I had to enter into a payment plan for my son’s fees at Peterhouse. I then went on to borrow US$50 000 from local banks for him to study drama at a United States university,” Matinenga said.
He also revealed that he had to sell three of his personal vehicles two double pick-up trucks and a Fiat UNO to raise funds for his family’s upkeep as he spent a lot of time in court soon after the 2008 polls.
Matinenga was arrested on May 31, 2008 on allegations of inciting public violence and released on June 5, 2008 following a successful application to have his arrest and detention declared unlawful.
However, barely 48 hours later, Matinenga was re-arrested on June 7 on the same charges. He was eventually acquitted in May 2009.
Matinenga said most politicians get into politics without a clear plan of what they want to achieve.
“I don’t think people make plans; they just muddle through. We need to introduce a clear succession plan in our politics and constituencies.”