Break-in at Mnangagwa’s offices as succession battles takes new twist

President Robert Mugabe and his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa

BURGLARS have once again broken into Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s offices at the New Government complex, the second time in about one year.

The incident happened on Tuesday night.

According to officials, the buglers gained entry into Mnangagwa’s office by drilling the ceiling as no damage was inflicted on the door.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she was still gathering information about the break-in. But Information, Media and Publicity Minister, Chris Mushowe is quoted as saying government would make every effort to arrest the perpetrators.

Fear has reportedly gripped Zanu PF after the discovery of a live bullet in Sport and Recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane’s hotel room on Monday night in an incident reportedly linked to internecine succession fights in the ruling party.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday said she will make a comprehensive comment after getting full details of the incident.

Zanu PF officials angling to succeed President Robert Mugabe, who turns 92 next month, were reportedly at each other’s throats along factional lines.

An ambitious Zanu PF faction known as Generation 40, which is reportedly sympathetic to First Lady Grace Mugabe, was keen to derail Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa from succeeding Mugabe.

Hlongwane said he had no suspect as yet, but was worried with the development as it exposed his family to possible attacks.

“I am not afraid to do my lawfully assigned duties, but this is worrying and very disturbing,” is all Hlongwane could say.

Zanu PF insiders said the matter had ignited renewed fear in the party.

The discovery of the live bullet came as divisions in Midlands Province were seemingly escalating with Hlongwane, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Tapiwa Matangaidze and Tourism deputy minister Anastancia Ndlovu allegedly being intimidated and harassed by a clique claiming to back Mnangagwa’s rise to the Presidency for alleged treachery after they were recently appointed to government.

“There is every reason to fear and be extra cautious now. Remember some are working hard to have their factions have an upper hand in the succession war. Things might get out of hand now and such a matter should be handled delicately so that a lasting solution is found,” a senior Zanu PF official who refused to be named said.

“We need the security department of the party to also look into the matter because this might be an inside job meant to instil fear. We have had enough of this and we need the party to get to the bottom of the matter and expose such culprits.”

But State Security minister and Zanu PF secretary for security Kembo Mohadi said there was nothing worth publication.

“Those are rumours which you guys are hearing. As Zanu PF, if we have something tangible on those issues, we will tell you.
Currently, we have nothing to say,” Mohadi said.

Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo also said the police were best placed to comment on the matter.

Two months ago, senior party members alleged that they received threatening messages from an unknown number, but no arrests have been made yet.

In December 2014, Mnangagwa’s office was laced with suspected cyanide which caused the hospitalisation of his secretary for months, and again no arrests were made, a development that has raised anxiety within the ruling party.

In June last year, Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha also found a live bullet in his office while in October opposition MDC-T MP James Maridadi alleged that he had also found a live bullet at his house.

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