Zimbabwe cabinet ministers clash over Headlands killing

Tendai Biti fingered Didymus Mutasa

By Violet Gonda
26 February 2013

There was an explosive Cabinet meeting Tuesday as MDC-T ministers confronted ZANU PF over the death of a 12 year old son of a party activist, who died in a suspected arson attack in Headlands this weekend.

Cabinet meetings are closed to the media. But some ministers who spoke on condition of anonymity said the issue of the Headlands tragedy was first brought up by Jameson Timba from the Prime Minister’s office, saying it was politically motivated.

The sources told SW Radio Africa that Finance Minister Tendai Biti then ‘spoke with more flesh’ and fingered Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF MP for Headlands.

Biti is said to have gone prepared with laminated graphic pictures of the charred body of Christpower Simbarashe Maisiri, who died in the fire on Saturday.

Biti reportedly told the shocked ministers that he was showing the full cabinet the pictures of the horrific attack on one of his party’s members so that ‘no one can hide behind ignorance’.

Christpower’s father Shepherd Maisiri is the local deputy organising secretary of the MDC-T in Headlands. He told SW Radio Africa: “Mutasa is my greatest enemy and this man has made my life miserable here in Headlands. I don’t have any faith in the police doing their work properly. I’m a marked man in this place.”

Mutasa, who is also the ZANU-PF secretary for administration and Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, tried to deny any involvement but Biti and others  challenged him about why cases of politically motivated violence seem to take place more in his area.

Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Elton Mangoma is said to have also challenged Mutasa to a joint public meeting where the government ministers can speak about peace.

But some ZANU PF ministers fought back, with Information Minister Webster Shamu blaming the disturbances on outside forces with an ‘imperialist agenda’ who he said were trying to portray his party in a bad light as the country prepares for elections.

Education Minister David Coltart reportedly told Cabinet that what was happening in the country, where people are arrested for owning radios and for registering to vote, is a reflection of the poison in Zimbabwean society.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai appealed for peace and is said to have told his ZANU PF counterparts that ‘no one has a retributive agenda’.

“He told them that they did not have to go to the lengths of killing people to stay in power because they have nothing to fear,” said the source.

Ministers called on the police to investigate the atrocities and to be more objective.

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21 Responsesto “Zimbabwe cabinet ministers clash over Headlands killing”

  1. super mondo says:

    this guy will wiggle well on the end of a rope.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to the family bereft of their young child. What the MDC ministers did during the cabinet meeting was to show their partners from the other side of the political divide that they will not take violence lying down. Now that the perpetrators are being confronted from the highest level of governance, let’s see a commitment to real peace.

  3. Zero says:

    It is interesting if you ask me how SWRadio Africa is privy of events that take place in a cabinet meeting. Unheard of even in the Western world. Sometimes your bias leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a very sad loss of a young life which should not be used to benefit anyone. RIP. I have no political affiliation and speak only for the victimized.

    • super mondo says:

      you cannot sit on a fence and expect to have views,as it is polotical to have views.

      • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

        ‘it is polotical to have views’, oh no no my gosh Aah, is it or not? I am about to drop the bible I am reading for the second time today.

    • Yepec says:

      “Sometimes your bias leaves a lot to be desired”. This is a statement from a person who says “I have no political affiliation and speak only for the victimized”. Really, whom are you trying to fool?

    • Common Sense says:

      You fail to recall the millions of times the Herald manages to get into all sorts of meetings/parliament etc. where they SHOULD have no access… this because they are told in advnace of a meeting that ZPF wants to make sure gets into the media to rubbish the popular MDC party

  4. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    It is the politically infirm individuals in the MDC camp who want to spruce up their waning political images by using the death of this child. It is stupid, irrational, uncalled for and illogical as the intentions for the MDC supporters are very clear to those with a clever mind. What they have not been able to achieve through their own efforts, they want to achieve them by using the death of this unfortunate child. It is ridiculous to say the least.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a ZANU(PF) killer yourself. Why do you say such words when relatives of th young boy killed mourning for their son ?

      • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

        I give my heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased but the lot of you should keep quiet as you are now using the death of this unfortunate child for what you have not be able to achieve through your own efforts for political capital. This is unacceptable. Let this child rest in peace.

        • Common Sense says:

          BS, the MDC are confronting the responsible minister in parliament to demonstrate that they will not get away with it and that it is unnacceptable.

          This is not political mileage to further their cause, it’s confronting the beast

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            Your article above clearly underscores the fact that you have no common sense at all. A man is not tried and proven guilty by the press but by the courts of the land. Any conviction of Didymus Mutasa by the press should be treated with contempt which it truly deserves as this is the business of the courts of Zimbabwe. What a fool and idiot masquerading as a man with common sense when the head is full of nuts.

  5. Yepec says:

    Given the kind of looting Zanu PF is doing on national assets, can people of the world be surprised at the ferocity with which its cadres are fighting to retain positions of political prominence in the Zimbabwean society?

    • Tiger Shona says:

      Spot on.
      These guys arguing for Zanu are a bunch of liars, and that Warvet idiot is a fool on top of it. It is only him that think people cannot see what they are doing.

  6. Cammille Flammarion says:

    Mudhidhimas Mutasa. EpiDidymas Mutasa. Mazita Emhondi aya…

  7. Jocelynne says:

    Finally the political violence is undeniably out in the open and at the expense of a poor innocent child. Shameful!

  8. peaches07 says:

    Why use the death of a young boy to pursue a political egenda…….MDC will forever cry wolf. Until investigations are carried out, we will not know what caused this fire..MDC’s strategy has always been (cry baby). How can they prove beyond reasonable doubt that this was politically motivated. Who stands to benefit anyway from the death of this young man…Im afraid ts say but right now i think the MDC have killed their own to gain a political mileage….SHAME ON YOU MDC

    • super mondo says:

      there has been previous arson attacks against this family.shame on you

      • peaches07 says:

        have they been investigated? Did they prove that the attacks were from ZANU…..in the event that there have been previous attacks,then i think Maisiri Snr shld have done more to protect his family

        • super mondo says:

          are you from zanu,and what could the farther have done ,stayed awake all night and shot the bastards who done this,you should have told him when they were comming.idiot

    • Yepec says:

      Really? What a cheap person to say such a thing, even your role model Didymus Mutasa, could not say a thing like that. Why did the Zanu PF Cabinet Ministers not say it? You passed them out in thinking, peaches07?

      Sorry, maningi kwazvo kunewe !

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