By Maynard Manyowa
The city council of Harare, and indeed the entire local government has been a matter of open brawling over the last few months – since Minister Saviour Kasukuwere became the man leading the portfolio.
Before that, the position had become synonymous with corruption and whooping salaries that rival millionaire football players in Europe’s elite leagues.
What should be concerning, if not alarming, is the rise in stature, and potential of one Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi to become town clerk.
His name, or that of his company Hansole Investments might not ring a bell to many Zimbabweans, but Mr. Mutisi (Mtisi) is one of the most sadistic operatives in all of Zimbabwe.
I first met Jacob Mutisi through a family friend about a year after I graduated school. He was the CEO of Hansole Investment – a company that buys IT products and resells them at a premium to unknowledgeable individuals – often selling pirated software under the guise of genuine licensed programs.
At the time, Jacob was looking for a Web Developer to partner his company. His idea was to use his business contacts to solicit potential clients and then outsource the jobs to a skilled individual and make a killing on a commission.
I entered the partnership in good faith and was given access to his offices and a stable internet connection. It was there where all the horror ensued.
Upon arrival, I was introduced to 5 student attachees (industrial placement scholars) and 2 permanent members of staff.
Within days, it became clear from the accounts of the staff there that they had not been paid in a longtime, and were unable to quit out of fear of the contracts they had signed with him which were cleverly worded to disallow staff from resigning because of non-payment of salaries.
Whilst this was in violation of Labour law – and I made this clear to the staff – they were scared of pissing of the big man because of the contacts he had in Zanu PF, and the belief that he was a CIO operative – indeed he carried with him laminated IDs that identified him as a member of the Zimbabwe National Army, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, and the Central Intelligence Organisation.
I had not signed an agreement with him on paper, but we kick started the project after a gentleman’s agreement.
A few weeks down the line after a dozen projects and no payments – even though clients had remitted – I told him I was quitting.
It was then I learnt that the fears of his staff were not imagined. I admit in retrospect I had been naïve.
The plenty times I had moved around the City Center of Harare with him, he had always refused to pay for parking – Flashing his IDs at Easy Park officials and often harassing them – he claimed he was on official government business – even when he parked his car outside a bar
He had strong links with the then Zanu PF Political Commissar, Webster Shamu, who he often enjoyed lengthy phone calls with.
During the six weeks I partnered with him, he often physically assaulted the male staff, and on more than a half dozen occasions he had sexually assaulted staff.
When I left his firm, he used his contacts at the Milton Park Police Station to open a ridiculous case of potential fraud against me. His argument was that since I had left his company / agreement, I stood to find my own clients who would have otherwise bought products from him.
He stated that I had the potential of starting my own business and making money which would have otherwise gone to him if I still worked with him.
The case made no sense at all, and after it was referred to the CID Serious Frauds section the Attorney General refused to prosecute on the grounds that the case made no sense – a man cannot claim ownership over another man’s skill which he does not enjoy and claim to have potentially lost money which he never owned in the first place.
It is much like the owner of Spar accusing the owner of OK supermarket of fraud, on the grounds that if OK was closed, people would be buying groceries from Spar alone.
When his legal persecution failed, he sent government operatives through Webster Shamu to physically assault me, and at one time doused with me petrol and set me on fire.
Police at Mabelreign Station refused to open up criminal charges. Meanwhile Jacob Mutisi continued harassing me, even to the extent of bullying my family members.
Other than me alone, his members of staff whom I left there remained stuck in a hole. He was accused of raping two of the girls at his office at gun point. The police refused to allow the victims to press charges, and locked them up for nearly two weeks, before Jacob Mutisi fired them.
The common ground in all his instances of abuse was his relationship with Minister of Information, Webster Shamu, and his perceived links to Didymus Mutasa, who he claimed was his Uncle. (Spoiler – he lied – he has no relation to Mutasa – just another Lumumba, lying to oppress and steal)
After his company went under, he fired his entire staff, who had not been paid for nearly 2 years. They approached the Ministry of Labour for assistance, but their efforts were turned down flat.
I found out through one of his members of staff that Jacob Mutisi had for nearly 5 years hired students on attachment – sexually assaulted them – threatened them with a bad review – hence failing their degrees – and if they persisted – used his political muscle to avoid prosecution.
It is unbelievably outstanding, that I am told he now stands to be town clerk – shortly after all MDC-T councilors have been fired.
I have no doubt that he walks a free man today because of the political muscle he enjoys. I have no doubt he is a Zanu PF operative. He has sold pirated fake products to organisations as big as the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers and made away with it. He has done much more, and I intend to write all about it in follow up submissions on the Zanu PF Mafia.
Meanwhile, Harare should never allow a man with a record for trickery, theft, sexual assault and violence into the position of town clerk. He maybe Kasukuwere’s choice, but he is a disaster and we cannot keep rewarding thugs with public office
- Maynard Manyowa is a political analyst based in Leuven. He is the editor of The Southern Daily, and Khuluma Afrika.
EDITORS: Please note that this article must not be reproduced or republished on any site / print publication without express permission from the editorial of this website – email firstname.lastname@example.org for accreditation.