A journalist’s horror encounter with Mukupe

My horror encounter with Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe on Thursday May 24, will remain etched in my mind forever.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

Early in the day a colleague at Spot FM, Chamunorwa Murava, invited me to his programme, Focus, to discuss an amateur video of Mukupe addressing a Zanu PF cell meeting in Harare’s affluent surburb of Mandara.

The video clip was the source of a lead story which I had recently written for NewsDay in which the deputy minister said the army had not taken power from then President Robert Mugabe so that they could hand it over to MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa, should the latter win the forthcoming elections.

The invitation was for me a chance to engage with the audience alongside Mukupe. I was supposed to go out with my wife, Florence, after the programme, so she accompanied me to Pockets Hill studios.

The minister was already there, with two aides, when we arrived. I exchanged pleasantries with the three gentlemen.

For the first few minutes of the show, all was well. Then Mukupe claimed I had been hired to soil his image and done stories just to bury his political life. The allegations were baseless.

I responded that in my 15-year journalism career, I had only done three stories on him: when he assaulted a top ministry official, when he made the allegations that army would not allow Chamisa to take power and another on a social media onslaught against him.

This was my first real life interaction with him. In the midst of the discussion, he stood up as if to leave the studio but turned on me, full of rage.
The last transmission in the radio programme was me crying out for help, “But minister why do you want to assault me.”

His aides tried to restrain him as he said I needed to be taught a lesson. My wife captured the moment of madness on her phone, a Samsung S7 Edge. Mukupe then charged towards her and wrestled the phone from my wife with the assistance of his aides.

The deputy minister took the phone after tearing her jacket and dared us to report the matter to whoever we wanted.


Unfortunately, Murava’s studio does not have cameras so the only evidence of the vicious attack is in the phone which he stole.

ZBC staffers were helpful in trying to call security and eventually getting a soldier at the complex to escort Florence and myself to our car.

We then drove to Highlands police station to make a report of theft, malicious damage to property and assault. Then all hell broke loose. Mukupe was already at the police station filing a report against us. The police handling the matter then told us we were the accused persons. We were made to wait in a little room while Mukupe was being attended to by a sergeant on duty that day.

After almost an hour, a very polite officer came to the holding room and began to record a statement from Florence. She was very helpful and tried to assist us to recover the phone from Mukupe. The deputy minister was, however, allowed to leave before we had filed our own report.

Just a few weeks ago, Commissioner General Police Godwin Matanga told the nation the force was adopting a professional way of policing.

“I want to stress that, I take greater exception to commanders who develop jelly legs and become jittery in fear of taking prompt and appropriate action when the ‘so called’ political bigwigs commit crimes, be they politically motivated or otherwise,” he said.

Sadly, his officers at Highlands police station failed the test. They opened a docket against the minister but did not bother to get a warned and cautioned statement from him, they decided to make it a summons case despite justifiable evidence that the minister could use his influence to interfere with witnesses.

The police also opened a docket against Florence and myself, threatened us with detention but did not even bother to inform us about the charges being laid against us and neither did they collect warned and cautioned statements from us.

Words previously uttered by Mukupe begun to make sense to me – he was above the law, this is why he dared us to report to whomsoever we wanted.

Florence did not sleep she had nightmare’s the whole night.

There was heartfelt outpouring of love and concern from colleagues. AMH Chief Operating Officer, Kangai Maukazuva, kept checking on me together with the managing director, and Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general Foster Dongozi.

Some people I never knew had my number called me and encouraged me to remain strong. Others, however, went political and also insulted my wife for accompanying me to the studio.

My call is to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a man I know personally, to make good his word.

It is time for him to ensure that the new dispensation is indeed “new”. Some kind of action will comfort not only my family, but the rest of the nation.

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28 Comments

  1. Mgobhozi Wezintabeni

    The political parties are at fault they allow criminals to worm themselves in the structures of their parties.People should not forget that the police force absorbed a lot of Green Bombers who graduated from the terror training centres euphemistically called Youth Service Training Centres.They were taught nothing else but that Zanu pf chefs are above the law,in the event of a dispute involving a Zanu pf chef and the ordinary citizen of the land the later is always guilty.

  2. He is now known as Terrible Terrence. Mwana wehama yemukuru so haabatike. Vakuru just do the honourable thing and fire the spoilt crack head.

  3. I have seen a video of Mukupe vs Biti on Star Fm and now have no doubt in my mind the man Mukupe is deranged.if this is the best Ed can offer then we are in big trouble.

  4. With people like Terence I will not vote for ZANU PF. ED must get rid of this man before worse damage is done

  5. Deputy Minister of Finance?

  6. Iwe wo unenge une bad motive against Mkuphe. I don’t support his deeds but unenge an interested party here. There is more to your story. Zvichabuda hazvo

  7. Farai shut up!Uri kudero nekuti hauziwe.Dai ari mukadzi wako akabvarurirwa jacket wainzwa sei.Please come on to your senses fellow Zimbabwean,this Mukupe guy belongs to Chikurubi.

  8. I did see the quoted video of him and Biti and to be honest I was shocked . To you Mukupe remember this : One day you are the cock of the walk, the next a feather duster. Stay humble!

  9. Comment…Occupational hazards, you get bashed, killed, insulted etc. Soldiers know they are likely to die in action

  10. It’s sad indeed. This country is being run by a Mafia. How can ED keep a Mukupe in his cabinet. It’s high time we get rid of this mafia by going out a vote for change in the upcoming harmonised elections.
    Chamisa Chete chete

  11. MUkupe is right. Biti was given correct size. Everyday anotuka Mnangagwa in his personal capacity, he calls for sanctions uye now arikuti all Zimbabwean companies should not have been given 100million from UK before elections. Democracy should not be one sided. biti actions affect the whole country

  12. This thug deserves a jail term. Rabid dogs are usually put down.

  13. Chase the boy

    that’s what happens when power suddenly lands on where it was never expected. from the broke ZABG to government minister… the deranged boy beneficiary of junta rule now think he is above the law, my foot. tozvigadzirisa chete!

  14. My request is directed to E.D. Munangagwa. cde president I think you need a cabinet reshuffle and appoint this guy as minister of sport maybe our boxing can go a long way as he seems to be a good fighter than a thinker. we don’t need a finance minister behaving like his brain is suffering from inflation

  15. Comment…varume mwari ndewe vanhu mukupe uyu hakuna kwaanosvika regai tione

  16. Mukupe idofo.. full stop

  17. maitiro enyu aya chinja chinja maitiro enyu aya

  18. Only one thing can stop these people. Vote them OUT! Vote for ANY party EXCEPT zany PF

  19. 2018 CHAMISA CHETE CHETE

  20. The Traveller

    Comment…Mr Mukupe has single handedly become the cancerous ulcer on ED’s bid for Presidency. One often has to wonder if not Mukupe is deliberately subotaging his boss ED for reasons he alone knows. All I can say is the nation is turning to you for guidence Mr President.

  21. This guy is just as bad as Disgrace when it comes to beating up people and insulting others

  22. If the President who claims that Zimbabwe is open for business, fires a Minister like Cremora Shamu for bringing the party into disrepute or whatever, fails to see that Terrence Mukupe’s comments are tragic to his quest for credible, free and fair elections then I wonder where the country is going. Terrence should have been summarily fired for sabotaging the President’s quest for investment. But then I am sure we all know ZANU PF.

  23. next time you want to.capture fools acting up just livestream to facebook, twitter, instagram etc and when they take away the gadget the video would already be in cyberspace.
    sorry for the ill treatment but wise up

    1. mukupe chidumdum

  24. Mukupe will soon join your fellow G40 cabal, waresva team yekutamba nayo .ED haasi Mugabe ,ziva kuti basa rapera boss, verenga news headline in the next 2 weeks. Wakura musoro manje.

    1. Just fire this boy, he is a bad apple that will mess up others

  25. I have been always against the justice system of Zimbabwe.Mukupe should go behind bars how can someone say he is above the law.As for Mukupe tables might just turn,whoever knew Mugabe would be removed from power.Thank u bro for shouting out louder the man is no good for Zimbabwe just look at his ministry it tells us a lot about him.

  26. Haana kwaachaenda uyo. Mukupe apera

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