By Robert Tapfumaneyi
VILLAGERS in former President Robert Mugabe’s rural home area of Kutama are scared to comment on the late ex-Zanu PF leader’s death for fear of reprisals from his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters.
Kutama Village in Zvimba district, about 100 kms from Harare in Mashonaland West province, is home to the former strongman, who passed on Friday in Singapore where he was being treated for the last five months.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com the villagers who have fond memories of the late political leader said they fear that his death may bring vengeance from Mnangagwa’s supporters.
“Since Mugabe was removed from power in November 2017 there has always been tension among villagers with others openly declaring that it was their time to benefit from the new administration,” said one villager named Steven.
“We got agriculture inputs on time and around here it’s electrified because of him, we also benefited from the irrigation.
“Some of the villagers are bitter because of Mugabe’s policies which left them in abject poverty. Remember when he was in power some wanted him to leave early but that was not the case.”
Close to Kutama Mission where Mugabe was educated as a child there is incomplete community centre with tennis and basketball courts.
“You see that place created divisions among villagers on who should benefit from it and because of fear then some villagers gave in. But when Mugabe was toppled it became free for all with others grabbing it.
“But I can see revenge amongst the villagers,” said another.
“Now that the feared security agents are also gone, I see trouble.”
The environment started changing with Mugabe’s departure from office almost two years ago now according to another villager who declined to be identified or have his pictures taken.
“The irrigation has since broken down and nothing has been done to it even Amai (former First Lady Grace) has not been here,” he said.
At Murombedzi business centre the death of the late statesman was also the talk of the day.
Others had to send most of their time glued to State television in bars in an effort to get the latest on the death of the man who divided opinion even among the simplest people.
Interestingly, others told this publication that Mugabe must be buried at the national hero’s acre to be among his long departed friends.