HARARE – Former Vice President Joice Mujuru has been forced to upgrade her security amid fears that some of her political enemies in the warring post-congress Zanu PF “continue to plot day and night” against the presumptive People First leader.
This comes as the Daily News has recently reported that the hapless widow of the late liberation struggle icon, Solomon Mujuru, and her allies were under increasing State surveillance following the launch of her widely-acclaimed manifesto.
Well-placed sources said yesterday that Mujuru had installed more security structures and cameras at her home, and also doubled the number of guards manning her Ruzambo Farm where her decorated late husband, Solomon, died in a mysterious fire in 2011.
“There are now two gates before one gets to see Teurai and more cameras and monitors have also been put in place. After what happened in the past, one can never be too careful,” a close ally of Mujuru, who visited the farm last week, said.
With suspicions still surrounding her husband’s death, her family and allies are concerned about her safety, and security, particularly after a number of intruders were caught at the farm in March this year as well as niggling concerns that People First has been heavily infiltrated by State agents.
This is apparently part of the reason why Mujuru recently turned down a security officer and two aides that were seconded to her by President Robert Mugabe — instead placing her faith and security in her own trusted aides, amid fears that those who were offered to her by the State would snoop on her.
The State security assistance which was offered to her was contained in a government gazette and also included a pension, a Mercedes Benz vehicle and other perks — all of which she rejected in toto.
“The president, in terms of Section 3 (1) of the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits Act, hereby makes the following notice: This notice may be cited as the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits (services and facilities for former VPs) notice 2015.
“A former Vice President of Zimbabwe, who has at any time since December 31, 1987 been Vice President for at least one full term of office, shall be entitled to use and enjoyment of the following services, facilities and allowances,” read part of the gazette.
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.
Her spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said the People First movement had put in place mechanisms to protect themselves and to deal with infiltrators.
“We have people who have their own agenda in our midst. We believe there are a lot of former State security operatives. We will not denounce them as we are focusing on our activities.
“There are quite a number of people among us who were in the CIO and we can count on them. So, we are clear that we are not afraid. Our approach is to embrace everyone. We are not working against anybody. They can do as they want, but we have put measures to handle that,” Gumbo said.
In the aftermath of Solomon Mujuru’s death, an inquest was told that police details manning the farm were sleeping when the fire that is said to have killed him erupted.
The inquest also established that police on duty at the farm had a defective communication radio and had not been changed as per normal police shift protocols.