Mugabe’s workers ‘taken’ to the army barracks for questioning
Domestic and security staff at former President Robert Mugabe’s private residence in Borrowdale, Harare, were on Wednesday reportedly taken to Josiah Magama Army Barracks and quizzed by military officers to disclose who visited the veteran politician.
Reports from South African news outlets said the workers were collected from Mugabe’s Blue Roof mansion in the morning for questioning.
Former First Lady Grace Mugabe was said to be unsure of whether to remain at the house after Mugabe flew to South Africa on a private visit earlier.
Sources said an unknown number of workers were interrogated for more than 10 hours by military officers, who wanted to know who visited the former leader and what discussions they held.
Some of the workers also confirmed the raid, but could not give further details.
NewsDay understands they were released in the evening after Grace became restive.
“The interrogations were centred on who visits the former President, how they (workers) spend the day and if the ex-President discusses politics,” a source said.
“Basically, they wanted to know the thinking of the old man and his plans.”
The questioning comes in the wake of revelations that Mugabe was linked to newly-formed opposition National Patriotic Front led by former Cabinet minister Ambrose Mutinhiri.
The party is believed to be a grouping of members of the vanquished G40 faction.Mnangagwa has responded by threatening to investigate Mugabe’s links to Mutinhiri and take “appropriate” action.
He said this while addressing a Zanu PF youth meeting on Wednesday, which was punctuated by derogatory slogans against the former leader.
Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesperson, Overson Mugwisi was yesterday said to be in a meeting, while his Zimbabwe National Army counterpart, Alphios Makotore requested written questions, which he had not been responded to at the time of going to print.
Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said: “I have no information on what you are asking, kindly get in touch with the office of the President and Cabinet [chief secretary] Meshack Sibanda. They are the ones who are in touch with the former President’s office or family.
“No one has brought that to my attention.”
Sibanda was not reachable for comment.
The director of State residences, Douglas Tapfuma, said he was unaware of the development.
“I serve one master, His Excellency the President Cde ED Mnangagwa not the former President. I am sorry I know nothing,” he said.
Mnangagwa’s administration has been restive since Mugabe started speaking about events leading to his ouster and has been engaging political players.
Mugabe’s residence is manned by the police and military intelligence officers, with details of all visitors recorded.
The military is also concerned with business executives visiting Mugabe and reportedly wants to understand what the ex-leader discusses with them.