THE burglary at Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Justice Ministry offices at the New Government Complex in Harare on Tuesday night, made worrisome reading, particularly with indications suggesting that it could be an inside job given that the office is located within a heavily-guarded security building.
While there could be many ordinary people that do not care a hoot about Zanu PF internecine fights, these happenings have a far much wider implication with regard to national security and protection of the country’s leaders.
At this point, Mnangagwa is not just an ordinary Zanu PF politician — he is the State Acting President — and if factional politics can go to such an extent as to endanger his life, sane people must be worried stiff. This applies to everybody who occupies that position — President Robert Mugabe, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko or whoever else.
While it is commendable for the police to be seized with the matter, Zanu PF must do serious soul-searching and bring the warring factions to a consensus for the good of both the party and the nation.
We urge Mnangagwa to go a step further by engaging private investigators to get to the bottom of this matter as six attempts on a high-profile individual shows those behind these machinations could be determined to eliminate him. The private investigators must exonerate the involvement of our security apparatus; otherwise it could be an internal thing.
What compounds the matter is that there are some within Zanu PF who have publicly declared themselves anti-Mnangagwa as though he was not Zimbabwean. We do not mind them differing with him for we are sure he also expects that, but these attempts on his life can only come from people with a selfish motive to throw the country into chaos.
Does this follow that these threats are only directed at Mnangagwa only? Mugabe must also be worried if he is really not sponsoring the gangsters, otherwise what stops this same cabal from plotting his downfall? Zimbabweans believe in constitutionalism and not chaos, and so it is hoped this will only end with those in an acting capacity and not a constitutionally elected leader.
The fact that these threats targeted at Mnangagwa have been going on for a long time — perhaps in the hope of scaring him off — there’s no telling what will be done next if these early futile attempts fail to ruffle his feathers, as they probably have already, anyway.
Zanu PF cannot afford to remain in a state where it is now characterised by suspicion and, perhaps, fear and anxiety. Failure to intimidate Mnangagwa by whoever is responsible may lead to more drastic attempts that may be disastrous. And with Mugabe increasingly losing grip on the party due to advancing age and its attendant ailments, the party will likely implode with huge consequences for the majority.
From what has been reported so far, there is no indication that the culprits were looking for something in the office, but were merely out to send some kind of message to Mnangagwa. The fact that this happened almost immediately after he assumed the Acting Presidency from Mphoko makes the whole thing even more curious.
The fact that this also came shortly after Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane recovered a live bullet from his hotel room demonstrates that there is far much more to this saga than meets the eye. It also demonstrates the urgent need to contain whatever dissensions are within the party at the moment. Zanu PF cannot afford to sit and watch such things happen. They portend ill.