Mugabe-Mnangagwa Spies arrested at Mujuru farm

HARARE – As the savage assault on former vice president Joice Mujuru and her perceived allies intensifies and gets dirtier, six people, two of them suspected to be members of the dreaded secret service, were allegedly caught snooping at her Beatrice farm last Friday.

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The Daily News was told by several sources yesterday that the intruders, who were apparently driving a private vehicle, were allegedly caught gathering information on the sprawling farm just outside Harare.

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“The group claimed to be relatives of the Mujuru family, but when they were quizzed by security, they demonstrated that they did not know any of Mai Mujuru’s relatives,” one of the well-placed sources said.

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The intruders were later detained at Beatrice Police Station over the weekend, after failing to convince anyone what their real mission was.

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However, although the men were expected to appear at the Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Courts on Monday, this — curiously — did not happen as had been advised, and no explanation for this surprising development was given although it is understood they were still detained at Beatrice Police Station yesterday.

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The Daily News has got the names of the alleged spies but has been advised by its lawyers to only publish them after the people appear in court.

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Surprisingly, a senior police officer in Beatrice claimed to be unaware of the arrests yesterday — even though his junior confirmed the development.

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“When they were arrested, two produced Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) identity cards while the other four had police IDs.

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Police were still trying to authenticate the IDs,” a police source said yesterday.

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The news comes as Mujuru’s perceived allies, including former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa and former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo have allegedly come under increasing surveillance from panicky authorities keen to know what the disaffected liberation pioneers are planning after they were controversially expelled from the ruling party.

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The news also comes after President Robert Mugabe openly revealed last week that authorities were closely “watching” the movements of former comrades-turned-foes who were challenging the outcome of the ruling party’s disputed December 2014 congress.

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Workers at Mujuru’s farm told the Daily News yesterday that the group of men who had been arrested had been moving around the farm for more than a month using different cars.

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They were allegedly noting and recording the movement of people on the farm, as well as the registration numbers of cars which entered the farm.

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The charred remains of Mujuru’s husband Solomon, were discovered at the farmhouse in 2011 after a mysterious fire gutted the farm dwellings.

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Many Mujuru family members are still suspicious of the circumstances leading to the death of one of the country’s most decorated liberation war heroes and whose nom de guerre was Rex Nhongo.

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Fears also abound among Mujuru’s supporters that “a far from confident Zanu PF is desperately” seeking to “manufacture incriminating evidence” against the widowed former VP and her close allies.

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And as Zanu PF’s deadly factional and succession fights continue to fester, both Mutasa and Gumbo confirmed to the Daily News yesterday that they were being watched by authorities around the clock.

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“They are putting people along the road leading to my house. These people are so obvious having worked with them for so long,” Mutasa, who was for long in charge of the country’s spooks, said.

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He added that the ruling party should not waste resources watching him as he was happy to volunteer any information that they wanted.

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“They should not waste the people’s time and money. I can tell them my daily movements if they really want to know,” Mutasa said.

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“They have been watching me all along. I have been watched all my life, so why should I be afraid?” Gumbo said on his part, adding that even during the liberation struggle, the Ian Smith-led government had similarly watched him.

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Although Mutasa and Gumbo have allegedly been expelled from Zanu PF, both men insist they still belong to the “real Zanu PF” that existed before the party’s contested December congress, which saw the elimination of all persons perceived to be loyal to Mujuru.

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Sources also said yesterday that the divided Zanu PF party was preparing to use a variety of dirty tricks to “nail Mujuru, Mutasa and Gumbo” and to silence them from expressing their disaffection with the party.

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They pointed to the controversy associated with the recent case in which Temba Mliswa, the ousted Zanu PF chairperson for Mashonaland West, was arrested on theft charges after some rifles were reportedly found stashed in a trench at his Spring Farm.

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Prosecutors claim Mliswa stole the firearms from Summerhill Farm in Mhangura in 2007.

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But Mliswa recently told his supporters in Hurungwe that he long surrendered his pistol to the police in 2007.

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“I do not own a gun. I handed my gun to the police in 2007 because people always say ndine hasha (I am short tempered),” Mliswa said.

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In the meantime, a defiant Mutasa has once again contemptuously dismissed a recent letter written by the ruling party’s newly-installed secretary for administration, Ignatius Chombo, recalling him from Parliament — saying he cannot be expelled from Zanu PF by anyone.

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“I also wrote to Parliament to say Chombo and company do not belong to the same Zanu PF as me. They have no authority over me, they having come from an illegal congress whose authority is questionable and unlawful,” Mutasa said. – Daily News