Calls are growing louder for President Emmerson Mnangagwa to be arrested for border jumping in November last year.
This follows the arrest of former Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, 47, on allegations of skipping the borders. He was charged for violating the Immigrations Act and was remanded to June 11 for his trial.
Kasukuwere was freed on $300 bail and was also ordered to report once a week at Borrowdale police station as part of his bail conditions. His passport was forfeited as evidence which will be produced when the trial commences.
Kasukuwere’s arrest comes after a key member of the infamous G40 cabal, Dickson Mafios, was yesterday sentenced to 11 months in prison with an option of a fine for skipping the border in contravention of the Immigration Act.
A handful of his sympathizers including former Zanu-PF activist, Jim Kunaka, now aligned to New Patriotic Front (NPF), came in solidarity and started protesting outside the court calling for President Mnangagwa’a arrest saying he also did not follow procedures and escaped the country the same way November last year.
NPF, a new political party, is believed to have strong links to former President Robert Mugabe and the G40 faction, and is aimed at chewing into President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s support base ahead of this year’s general elections.
They vowed to come in their numbers on Kasukuwere’s next court appearance.
Below is a narration on how Mnangagwa escapes from Zimbabwe in November 2017.
The only escape route left was by road. Around midnight, with a cousin who came along to help, the Crocodile and his sons began the three-hour journey southeast to Mutare, near the frontier with Mozambique. They hid in an abandoned lodge the Crocodile knew from his days in the liberation war and were first in line when the Forbes border post opened at 6am.
Their passports were checked with no problem, but at the next checkpoint for clearance of the car, security agents realised who was in it and began to delay.
“Dad said, ‘I know only too well what this means, they are calling for backup to come and arrest me,'” said Emmerson Jr. “That’s when all hell broke loose.”
The cousin with them made a commotion to distract the guards while Mnangagwa sneaked out of the car and tried to escape, followed by his sons. He was 50 yards from an exit gate when an officer started screaming at the guards manning it: “Shoot, shoot, shoot!”
Sean shouted at his father to run and dashed to block the guards’ line of fire.
“We were lucky because the police on the exit gate had to get their weapons,” said Emmerson Jr. “They cocked their AK-47s very loudly and my brother jumped in the way and held the two barrels against his chest. I was terrified they would blow him up.”
In the commotion Mnangagwa fled with Collins to a mountain cave the old man knew from his war days. “Dad was talking to himself a lot, as if he couldn’t believe what had happened to him, that the order had gone out to kill him.”
Sean and Emmerson Jr escaped on foot before commandeering a taxi to Mutare, where they hid in “an old car wash” as the streets were crawling with police. “Every car was being stopped and searched.”
Emmerson Jr managed to link up with his father again, and they decided to try to reach Mozambique on foot. They secretly contacted local officers from military intelligence — which Mnangagwa used to run — who arranged a guide to the border, and for a taxi to meet them there.
Around 10pm they set off, sneaking past Marymount Teachers’ College on the edge of Mutare. Father and son were still in the business suits and shoes they were wearing when they had fled Harare.
“It was terrifying,” said Emmerson Jr. “So many times we had to duck because we could see searchlights, hear dogs, and see the patrol cars. My dad was in front of me on his belly doing the army crawl in the tall grass. I am a businessman and couldn’t do it, so just crouched down.
“He’s 76 this year, a man who had just been poisoned and didn’t have his medicines, he’s old, his blood pressure up, I was worried but I couldn’t keep up.”
Because of the police, the guide used an alternative route, which made the journey much longer, and missed the taxi rendezvous on the border. Tramping up and down the granite mountains in their formal shoes in the dark was tough. “We were slipping and sliding, and coming down we had to walk sideways to brake. I was so tired, I remember praying to God, just give us 100m of walking upright. Dad fell a couple of times and I was so sad.”