Death of Intelligence Supremo rocks Zanu PF
HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s delicate ability to pit rival partners in both government and his party in order to prolong his stronghold as President were on Monday left in turmoil with the passing away of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss, Menard Muzariri
Muzariri a close ally of Emmerson Mnangagwa and a fierce rival of the current intelligence chief Happiton Bonyongwe died on Monday.
Bonyongwe a career soldier was controversially reappointed by Mugabe in 2009 when Muzariri was certain his turn to be the head had arrived. Muzariri had written to Mugabe detailing the close ties between Bonyongwe and Simba Makoni of the Mavambo party, according to intelligence sources.
Bonyongwe is also a close ally of Solomon Mujuru a fierce rival of Mnangagwa. Analysists said Mugabe has been left in the quandary as he has been relying on setting the two rival camps in intelligence against each other.
“President Robert Mugabe will have to appoint a person who will ensure that there is balance in the CIO, otherwise the Mnangagwa faction will feel that it has been left behind. At the moment it is the Mujuru faction that has overall control and that does not augur well for Mugabe,” said an analysist.
Unlike Bonyongwe the late Muzariri was a career intelligence man who was in 1980 deployed to the Prime Minister’s Office as an intelligence officer from the intelligence unit of zanu’s guerilla army, zanla.
According to the President’s Office “He attended prestigious intelligence institutions in Africa and abroad, obtaining
internationally recognised intelligence qualifications that saw him being promoted to the post of Head of Division in 1984.”
The loyal Muzariri was in 1997 appointed to the post of Director Internal.
“His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Commander In Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Robert Mugabe, in 2003 appointed him to the rank of Deputy Director General in the President’s Department, a rank he held at the time of his untimely passing-on,” said the office.
The late Deputy Director General in the President’s Office, has been declared a national hero and will be laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre on Thursday
Other people also paid their condolences to the Muzariri family and they include the Zimbabwe National Army Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, who said he had known the late Muzariri for over 40 years.
Deputy Police Commissioner, Godwin Matanga, said the late Muzariri was an effective officer who loved his country.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Justin Mupamhanga, said he knew Muzariri during the war of liberation, adding that he was one of the toughest cadre he came across.
The uncle to the late Muzariri, Jericho Muzariri, said he was a family unifier who left a big void in the family set up.
Muzariri passed away at the age of 56, at St Annes Hospital in Harare after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Ester and five children.
Mourners are gathered at Number 27, Ross Avenue Borrowdale, Harare.
Meanwhile, the CIO Director-General, Happyton Bonyongwe has described, Menard Livingstone Muzariri as a patriotic cadre of unquestionable repute, especially when issues to do with protection of national interests are concerned.
Going down memory lane, Bonyongwe said the deep void left by the untimely death of a dedicated and patriotic cadre committed to defending the territorial integrity and the country’s sovereignty during and after independence, will be difficult to fill.
Bonyongwe said what will be missed most about the late intelligence supremo, Muzariri is his charismatic personality even when the chips were down.
Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara said the loss of a veteran liberation war hero such as Muzariri should be a wake up call for future leaders to follow the diligent example set by such true patriots.
The body of the late national hero will be flown to his rural home in Chesa, Mt. Darwin on Wednesday morning after which it will be taken to his Mugagawo Farm in Mashonaland Central.
The body will be flown back to Harare and will lie in state at his Borrow dale home.
On Thursday morning, Muzariri’s body will be taken to Stodart Hall before being finally laid to rest at the National Heroes Acre.
|Mennard Muzariri, has been described as a consistent and reliable cadre who committed his life to serving Zimbabwe.
Zanu-PF Politburo members, cabinet ministers and other senior government officials visited the Muzariri home in Borrowable, Harare to convey their condolences following the passing on of the CIO Chief, who has since been declared a national hero.
Zanu-PF party Chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo described the late intelligence supremo as a dear comrade, who before and after independence served the country diligently and with unquestionable patriotism.
“He was a dear comrade whose record speaks for itself.
He served this country with great patriotism and enthusiasm,” Moyo said.
Minister of State for National Security, Sydney Sekeramayi described the late Muzariri as a dedicated cadre who worked tirelessly especially during the apartheid era in South Africa to ensure that Zimbabwe was not destabilised.
“He is one of the cadres who during the apartheid era worked diligently to ensure that the disturbances down south would not affect our integrity,” he said.
Muzariri left the country to join the liberation struggle in 1973.
He received his initial military training at Mgagao Camp in Tanzania and proceeded to an Advanced Instructor’s Course at the same camp.
In 1978, he went to Zambia where he worked at the party’s office as an administrator.
Later in the same year, he was posted to Botswana where he worked as Political Commissar at the party’s office.
In 1980, Muzariri worked in the Prime Minister’s office as an intelligence officer.
In 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Director General in the President’s office, a post he held until the time of his death.