Soldiers allegedly blocked Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao’s vehicle outside Harare, threatening him with unspecified action and the minister says he now fears for his life.
Zhuwao, who is President Robert Mugabe’s nephew on May 12 wrote to Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi seeking protection, amid fears the incident could be linked to the acrimonious tussle between Zanu PF factions to succeed the 93-year-old leader.
He copied the letter to State Security minister Kembo Mohadi.
“I am requesting you Honourable minister to take necessary steps to ensure my safety and security given the actual threats made to me as read with the alleged assassination attempt reported to Cabinet by Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere [Local Government minister] and attempted bombing of Gushungo Diaries, both of which implicated military personnel,” reads the letter seen by The Standard yesterday.
Zhuwao and Kasukuwere have been linked to Zanu PF’s G40 faction, which is battling for the control of the party with another one known as Team Lacoste and is linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zhuwao in the letter said he was travelling towards Harare in Darwendale when he met a group of soldiers running towards him. Two of them then intercepted him, ordering him to stop before threatening to deal with him.
“As I was driving from my farm towards Harare, I noticed a group of soldiers wearing berets which indicated that they are members of the Mounted Regiment,” part of the letter read.
“They were running towards me on the left side lane. I slowed down my vehicle and moved to the right side lane where upon one of them moved from the group to run in the middle of the right side lane, thus necessitating that I proceed along the right side verge of that road.
“Another one of them then also broke their formation and stood in my path, thus forcing me to have to stop my vehicle in front of him, wherein he instructed me to stop despite my being already stationary.
“I indicated that I was Cabinet minister Zhuwao in the hope and expectation that he would desist from hindering my travel to work. He retorted that he knew who I was and that he would deal with me.”
Zhuwao added: “I managed to call Major Chikukwa whom I understood to be the military intelligence officer stationed at Inkomo Barracks, to advise him formally of the threats.
“Honourable minister, I wish to advise that I do not take kindly to the threats, especially by those that feel that they are equipped and trained to inflict bodily harm, injury or death to myself by virtue of being in the military.”
Zhuwao said he had met the soldiers on several occasions and managed to pass using the other lane until that day when he was obstructed and threatened.
Sekeramayi and ZNA spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Alphios Makotore could not be reached for comment last night.-Standard