Former MDC Alliance member, Tongai Matutu, who recently crossed the floor and joined the ruling Zanu PF party in a red carpet event presided over by President Mnangagwa and his two deputies at the State House, was greatly betrayed by Nelson Chamisa who made him feel unwanted, TellZim News has learnt.
Sources said the former MDC Alliance top official found himself between a rock and a hard place as his personal life was being turned inside out largely because of his membership to the MDC Alliance.
Matutu told TellZim News that joining Zanu PF was the hardest decision he ever made but he had to do it since he was being victimized for supporting a party which did not want him.
“I was never wanted in MDC especially by the leaders. I have no problem with the grassroots and I apologise to them.
“They supported me but the leadership made sure that I did not belong. I came to Zanu PF to just be a card carrying member and I now believe Zanu PF is a better home.
“I was a Politically Exposed Person (PEP). If you walk into any bank ask them who is a (PEP). I was placed under sanctions by Zanu PF. I earned my money through honest means but my accounts were all flagged and they thought that I was receiving some donor funds.
“I could have easily invested in Masvingo but the Zimra people literally chased me away. They did not want me to do anything because of politics. They would not approve anything linked to my name.
“Zanu PF fought me and I understand because I was fighting them back but what I failed to understand was why my own brothers fought me. It was not an easy decision to join Zanu PF but in the end life has to go on,” said Matutu.
A source said a senior war veteran facilitated the process of Matutu joining Zanu PF after his 11th hour disqualification from contesting in the Masvingo provincial congress which was presided over by Chamisa himself in 2019.
“It is public knowledge that Matutu once left the MDC and joined the then Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) but then had to come back home to the MDC because that has always been his home but he never felt welcome.
“Many MDC Alliance members from his province considered him to be a threat to their own leadership aspirations within the party. He was a darling to many people in the grassroots because he was like a father figure who provided for them during difficult times.
“Matutu’s philanthropic gestures did not sink well with the provincial leadership who thought he was out to take over the leadership and they did everything to shut him out,” said the source.
The source said that in the build up to the 2019 provincial congress, Matutu approached Chamisa to get clearance for him to be allowed to contest for the provincial chairperson seat.
“When Matutu started campaigning for the provincial congress last year, Chamisa ordered him to come see him at his offices and he did.
“They talked like brothers and Chamisa gave Matutu his blessing before sealing it with a prayer. Matutu believed that since Chamisa is a pastor, the prayer meant that what had been sealed by men has also been sealed in heaven.
“However, that turned out to be a charade when Chamisa went on to disqualify Matutu on election night. Matutu tried to seek redress from Chamisa but to no avail,” said the source.
Another source said Matutu supporters tried to protest to Chamisa but again it was a futile exercise as his fate was already sealed.
The source revealed that Matutu was having challenges accessing money from his bank accounts which had all been apparently flagged at the instigation of state security agents who wanted to punish him for winning a court case against a Zanu-PF linked company.
“He no longer had any functional bank card. He would transfer money from his account to another person’s account for him to be able to use his money because his accounts were under strict monitoring.
“In one of his banks, he was told that his problems were political and the bank could not do anything since it was an order from the highest authorities.
“He would request a bank card but it would not last for two hours before all Point of Sale machines declined it. It was very difficult for him but he kept supporting Chamisa,” said the source.
Matutu’s loyalty to Chamisa saw him being targeted and put on Zanu PF’s own ‘sanctioned persons’ list, with his passport requiring regular security clearance and his law practicing certificate getting revoked for alleged misdemeanours.
It is said that out of frustration, Matutu picked up his phone and called a top war veteran, whom the source refused to call by name and lashed out at him saying Zanu PF was ‘satanic’.
The war veteran, who is said to be related to Matutu, then offered to help him get over his troubles if he would acquiesce to the requirements.
“The war veteran requested $500 airtime promising to fix Matutu’s woes. The war veteran then got back to Matutu informing him that his problems were being caused because of his allegiance to Chamisa.
“Matutu then asked why Zanu PF was targeting him alone since he holds no position in Chamisa’s MDC to which the war veteran told him that belonging to the party warranted the sanctions.
“The war veteran told Matutu that he had arranged a meeting between him and the Central Intelligence Organisation director-general Isaac Moyo in Harare. Matutu went for that meeting and I did not get what they talked about but it is after that meeting when he made his decision.
“Matutu decided to join Zanu PF to save his business and career because it was not worth it to risk everything for a party which did not want him,” said the source.
It is said that many people from MDC Alliance who were supported by Matutu wanted to go with him to Zanu PF but Matutu said his decision was personal and people should not follow him because of that.
“A lot of people wanted to go with Matutu to Zanu PF because they felt Chamisa was being unfair but Matutu stopped them telling them if they want to join Zanu PF, it should be their personal choices.
“He could have gone with truckloads of people if he wanted to be malicious but he did not,” said the source.