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An angry President Robert Mugabe slated former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa who was once a dreaded CIO boss, on his return from his long holiday in the Far East yesterday, branding his erstwhile lieutenant as "deranged, mad, little-brained" and "a stupid fool".

The nonagenarian was particularly scathing about Mutasa's moves to try and get regional and continental bodies to intervene in Zanu PF's deepening factional and succession wars.

He told Cabinet ministers, top securocrats, senior government officials and placard-waving rank-and-file Zanu PF supporters who had gathered to welcome him at the Harare International Airport yesterday that Mutasa was also allegedly "insane".

"We have no time for individuals of little brains, disorganised mentally, deranged and close to being insane," he said much to the delight of party apparatchiks.

Mugabe said Mutasa was "a foolish man" who did not appear to know that bodies such as the 15-nation regional bloc Sadc, Comesa and the African Union represented nations not individuals. "Congress yatakaita yaive Zanu PF congress (The congress we held was a Zanu PF congress)," he said.

"Sadc, Comesa, and AU misangano kwete yevanhu pachavo, but yenyika dzavo (Sadc, Comesa, and AU are organisations representing nation states not individuals).

"Saka Gamatox akavhiringika achifunga kuti nyaya dzeZanu, zvinonyamutswa zvoenda kuSadc or kana uko, asi munhu uyu ibenzi kanhi?

Nyika ndiyo inowuya nezvichemo zvayo kwete individuals (Gamatox was confused to the extent that he appealed to Sadc against Zanu PF. He must be foolish. Only nation states can lodge complaints to Sadc, not individuals)," Mugabe added.

He further railed against Mutasa, branding him a hypocrite who had allegedly run away from congress.

He also described him as an "incorrigible stupid idiot that will never be corrected".

"Hameno kuti chakapinda uyu anonzi Gamatox chii. Ndotarisa shure kuti kuedza takaita kuvapa basa repamusorosoro kuvaisa kuoffice yapresident ndokwavanga vari tichironga congress tiri tese zvakanakanaka vozonzvenga musi wecongress tisingazivi kuti vaendepi (I don't know what has happened to Gamatox. When I look back, we gave him a top post in the president's office, that's where he was as we planned the congress together. It was well, until he ducked and dived as we approached the congress)," the 90-year-old said.

"Ndakazonzwa vari kuti ndiri kurwara ndiri kuSouth Africa; kuri kutiza. Chauri kutiza chii murume mukuru. Waakunyorera Zuma nezve Zanu PF. Zuma anozvizivira kupi? (I later heard him saying he was not feeling well and was away in South Africa. He was running away from the congress.

What was he running away from, a grown man like him? Now he writes to SA President Jacob Zuma about Zanu PF. What does Zuma know about Zanu PF)?" he asked.

"KwaMakoni vovhota kuti vanoenda kucentral committe ndevapi? Waruza iwewe  party yaruza. Huyayi mundibatsire, chipepa chacho chinonzi 'we, we' vanani, vabude izvezvi, 'we, we' zvekunyepa. A stupid fool cannot be corrected. Jongwe rarasika rinokuma. (In Makoni, they selected candidates for the central committee. Because he failed to garner a nomination, now he says the party has lost its way. He later wrote some statement replete with lies. A stupid fool cannot be corrected. A lost cock crows)," Mugabe added.

Mutasa released a damning statement last week which was provocatively written in his capacity as the ruling party's secretary for administration — which set the cat among pigeons after calling Zanu PF's damp squib "elective" congress that was held in Harare last month "null and void".

He also, ominously, pooh-poohed all the party appointments and changes that were made just before, during and after the controversial congress — pitting his group for a titanic showdown with Mugabe, his ailing wife Grace and party hardliners who led the assault on former vice president Joice Mujuru and all party officials who were perceived to be sympathetic to her.

The no-holds-barred statement called for the nullification of all "purported constitutional amendments drafted and rail-roaded immediately before this so-called congress", as well as the restoration of the "elective dignity of congress and the one-man one-vote principle as enunciated by our armed struggle and constitution".

"The sad events of the past months reflect a deep-seated historical failure by the party leadership to correctly handle internal contradictions in the party. Each time the party faces challenges, it resorts to brute force," the statement said.

"It fails to sum up its mistakes and experiences and provide durable solutions. Contradictions within the party and society as a whole are natural and expected, but these are non-antagonistic and should be resolved through debate, dialogue and negotiations.

"Leaders' energy should be channelled towards enhancing democracy, freedom and unity within the party.

"Constructive criticism and self-criticism are some of the positive core values of the liberation movement and should be encouraged and embraced."

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