There was drama ahead of the usual Tuesday Cabinet meetings on Tuesday when security agents, whether from overzealousness or instructions, stopped and attempted to frisk deputy prime ministers Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara.
Impeccable sources said Khupe (MDC-T) objected and remonstrated most vehemently with the “inexorable and unyielding” agents and ended up walking away from the entrance to the Cabinet.
But the melodramatic Mutambara of the splinter group of the mainstream MDC would have none of it, they said.
He reportedly not only protested, but allegedly bulldozed his way in, leaving the agents stunned and mortified.
Once Mutambara has made up his mind on something, he is unstoppable, a source said.
Realising that the former student activist and robotics professor had blown a big hole in their mesh, the sources said the security agents could only but drop their jaws.
Sources said Khupe turned her back on the agents and returned to her office huffing and puffing only to be recalled and she obliged.
“When Khupe and Mutambara wanted to enter Cabinet, they were stopped by security agents so that they could be searched, but they protested,” sources said.
“They queried why they should be searched yet President Robert Mugabe was not subjected to the same treatment. This search business started last week but is selective. The two argued that they are senior political leaders with high stakes in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) therefore should not be subjected to this type of humiliation.”
Contacted for comment by NewsDay, an official in Khupe’s office said:
“She was stopped because they wanted to search her, but she refused. However, she has since returned and is now attending Cabinet.”
It is not clear why suddenly these top officials have to be frisked or what threat they are suspected to pose.
Sources said one of the three principals is not searched and the other two say what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and they will not yield to searches if the same does not apply to their counterpart.
It was not clear whether ministers were also subjected to security searches ahead of Cabinet meetings, but at one point when Nicholas Goche was Minister of State Security that was the norm before the consummation of the inclusive government.
The incident occurred when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has not been present at a number of Cabinet meetings for a variety of reasons, was in Buhera attending the funeral of a relative identified only as Makuvise.
The incident comes at a time ministers have been accused of leaking Cabinet deliberations to the media and warned of arrest.
The debacle comes hard on the heels of renewed acrimony between long–time arch-rivals President Mugabe and Tsvangirai over the former’s so–called intransigence by disrespecting the porous GPA which both parties want ripped down the middle.
Although both men signed the controversial coalition agreement which has brought relative peace and economic stability to the country, they now regret the marriage of convenience.
As the cookie crumbles, the protagonists say they want elections next year to end the chaos and acrimony prevailing in the coalition.
While President Mugabe and his inner cabal, which is under sanctions for alleged human and property rights violations, are adamant the polls will be held next year come hell come thunder, Tsvangirai has threatened to pull out if the environment is not conducive for free and fair elections.