- Published on 21 December 2014
- Written by Sundaynews
POLICE investigations into an alleged plot to assassinate Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa have seen forensic detectives called in, with the results of their probe expected any time from now.
A fortnight ago, poison that was confirmed to be cyanide-based to our Harare Bureau yesterady was smeared in then VP-designate Mnangagwa's office on the 12th floor of Zanu-PF's headquarters, which upon inhalation resulted in the hospitalisation of three people.
VP Mnangagwa only escaped harm because his personal secretary and two other staffers entered the office before he did. Yesterday, the secretary – Mrs Catherine Magaya – told our Harare Bureau that she had been discharged from the intensive care unit of a hospital in Harare, though she was still in a bad state.
The others affected by the poison are Cde Dzingayi Mutasa (driver) and an unnamed officer from the President's Department.
Mrs Magaya said, she was given a 21-day medication regimen.
"I am recovering at home. I was given medication that will last for three weeks and after that I will go back to the doctors to assess my condition. The doctors said that the cyanide affected my stomach and caused numbness on the left side of the body.
"When I was admitted to hospital, the left side of my body was virtually paralysed but now the situation has improved because I can move a bit and I am also able to walk a few steps," she said.
And national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said investigators were awaiting results of forensic tests, likely to be concluded next week.
"I can assure you that thorough investigations are going on in that case. As it stands, the furniture and other office material which was sprinkled with the (poison) has been taken for forensic tests. I understand the forensic experts have started to assess the evidence and after they are done we will duly provide you with the results."
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the slight delay in finalising the results was because "some of the material that is being used for the forensic tests is brought in from outside the country".
She said no arrests had been made.
"We are confident that we will get to the root of this case and bring to book anyone who might have been involved in this crime," the police spokesperson said.
President Mugabe revealed the assassination attempt at a Zanu-PF Extraordinary Central Committee meeting earlier this month, just after announcing the appointments of VP Mnangagwa and VP Phelekezela Mphoko as his two deputies in the ruling party.
President Mugabe told stunned delegates that the poison was sprayed in Cde Mnangagwa's office "in the hope that he would walk in in the morning and breathe in the substance".
"We are aware of people that really want to harm us. Physical harm also," said President Mugabe."I was talking of the incident that happened kuma office edu eZanu-PF. The offices of Cde Mnangagwa were broken into and poison was spread all over the desk and so on.
"The powder, which when the door opens and there is that flash of air would be blown up and then he would breath it. So it's not Mnangagwa who opens the door, it was secretary who opened the door and poor girl there she was, she breathed it and she is a mess. She is in the intensive care unit. Ko pamusana peyi? Chatatadza chii? Why, why, why?
"We want investigations to be done. I am just warning you that it is not always those who smile at us who are our friends. Take care."
The suspected assassination of VP Mnangagwa came after former Zanu-PF Politburo members and Didymus Mutasa, Nicholas Goche and Rugare Gumbo were reported to have spoken of killing President Mugabe and "war" in Zanu-PF ahead of its landmark December 2014 Congress that saw seveal senior officials, including ex-VP Joice Mujuru being shown the door.
It is alleged that the officials were plotting to unseat President Mugabe just a year after the electorate returned him to office, failing which assassination of the Head of State and Government would be an option.