- Published: 13 January 2016
- Written by Online Correspondent
POLICE have launched an investigation after intruders broke into the office of Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the early hours of yesterday — the fourth such incident.
The intruders drilled a ceiling panel to gain access into Mnangagwa’s 6th floor Ministry of Justice office at the New Government Complex in Harare. It was not clear if anything had been stolen.
Police investigators, some with sniffer dogs, swarmed the Acting President’s office starting early yesterday morning after the break-in was noticed.
Investigators from the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe were also brought in, suggesting fears of a chemical attack on the Acting President.
Speaking about the incident, Acting President Mnangagwa, during a briefing to Zanu-PF’s provincial leadership in Kwekwe before he attended a church service for the late, Estelle Theresa, wife to prominent Midlands farmer and businessman Neville Coetzee, said the burglars gained entry through the ceiling.
“Some people broke into my office yesterday, my office at the Ministry of Justice,” he said.
Laughing and looking relaxed, the Acting President added: “Maybe somebody doesn’t want me and is blocking my way.”
Mnangagwa, who oversees the Justice Ministry on top of his duties as Vice President, uses the ministry’s 6th floor office at the New Government Complex at the corner of Samora Machel Avenue and Simon Muzenda Street.
Mnangagwa’s offices have been broken into four times at the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and once at Defence House when he was Minister of Defence.
His offices at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare were also once broken into by unknown elements in 2014 who laced his desk with cyanide, poisoning his secretary who had to be hospitalised.
Following that incident on December 10, 2014, President Robert Mugabe said he was aware “of people who really want to harm us, physical harm also.”
The latest security breach came two days after Sports Minister Makhosini Hlongwane called in the police after finding a live bullet in his 16th floor hotel room at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Harare.
Hlongwane said he made the shock finding on Monday evening as he returned from his office.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Christopher Mushohwe yesterday said the government was concerned with the unending break-ins at Mnangagwa’s offices.
“This is the sixth time that this kind of break-in has happened into the offices of the Acting President,” he said. “We’re concerned especially on this one because you can see the holes that they drilled and pulled the ceiling from the roof and used the hole as an entrance.
“We don’t know what they wanted here or what they’ve done or taken from here because the experts are yet to do some thorough investigations.”
Minister Mushohwe said it was clear the incessant negative media reports by the private media, particularly The Daily News, against Acting President Mnangagwa were a precursor to the break-in at the offices.
The whole of this week, The Daily News has been leading with stories that portrayed a negative picture of Mnangagwa.
On Monday, the paper led with a story headlined “Mnangagwa begs Mugabe … as VP feels heat of Zanu- PF’s brutal succession wars”.