Zimbabwe's First Lady, Grace Mugabe, must watch her back and beef up her security detail to the maximum, amid reports that a squad of hitmen have reportedly sneaked into the country, with alleged orders to take her out, a serving cabinet minister has warned, The Telescope News reported.
It was not apparent this morning, who had hired the faceless hitmen, with indications that perhaps the first lady's growing list of enemies, could have come together for the common cause of ending her life, including irate senior politicians and suspected elements within the security services establishment panicking over her prospect of seizing power from her husband soon.
The minister, who has already recently told The Telescope News Special Investigations Unit, that Grace's life is in danger, said President Robert Mugabe needs to take the matter seriously, and unleash the country's intelligence and security apparatus to thwart the assassins wherever they are, before its too late.
Political tension is high in the country, as Mugabe moves to name Zimbabwe's two new vice presidents this Sunday, with current VP Joice Mujuru having been effectively fired from her office yesterday, when Mugabe accused her of consulting witchdoctors and using black magic on him, in an attempt to topple the nonagenarian from power. Mugabe also said his deputy had a two-pronged strategy to seize power from him, which included "shooting me".
The Telescope News, also said it has it on good authority that the army is on high alert for any civil unrest or disobedience that might ensue after Zanu-PF's so called elective congress, with the declaration of a state of emergency on the cards, should matters run out of control. Mugabe met his military generals on Tuesday at the party headquarters, where Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, was introducing the new executive of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association to his boss, together with discussing other national security issues.
"Like I told your paper last month, Amai Mugabe's rise is causing many people in influential circles to have sleepless nights," said the minister who is also a former diplomat.
"There are reports I have heard about hitmen from South Africa, who are already on our soil, who because of failing to get to our president, might actually settle for targeting the first lady. The threat is real, and because it's inconceivable, the killers can make a surprise hit. Noone is safe in this country."
South Africa is thought to be the leading destination in Africa insofar as availability of professional hitmen is concerned.
"You have to understand that some people, who are being humiliated and booted out of their powerful positions, will not go out without vengeance. Their livelihoods are tied to their government positions, and they stand to lose a lot of wealth acquired through these political offices, if you leave Zanu-PF or get dismissed, then stand ready to become a nobody. For them Grace poses a bigger threat to their interests than Mugabe, because of her age. If she becomes by remote chance the president of this country, she can also be in power for three decades."
The minister also revealed that Zimbabwe is home to many intelligence operatives within the SADC region, since "some are here for training" and as such it was not sophisticated for one to court hitmen among some of them, who end up doing private security-related work.
"Our country probably has the largest concentration of intelligence operatives in Southern Africa, because of the Chinese built, Robert Mugabe School of Intelligence in Mazowe, which has been recruiting from the entire SADC region. Other agents from across the world have been sneaking into the country, disguised as diplomatic staff or aid workers due to the critical political juncture we find ourselves in."
Presidential affairs minister, Didymus Mutasa, whose ministry manages the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), itself a special department in the President's Office, was last night unreachable for comment on the matter. Mutasa's mobile phones kept ringing with noone picking up the calls.
Interestingly Mutasa himself has been implicated in the alleged assassination of Mugabe, alongside labour minister, Nicholas Goche, who is reported to have used a recent government overseas trip to Switzerland, as a cover to make contact with hitmen from Israel and South Africa. Both ministers deny the charges, and that they were doing so at the behest of Mujuru.
"She (Joice Mujuru) has been telling people that once Mugabe dies, she will draw me close to her, and my secretaries told me that she will drag me in the streets, with people laughing while my flesh sticks on the tarmac," she said, while addressing a large group of women cross-border traders in Mazowe.
Gaddafi himself is believed to have been killed by a secret service hitman in October 2011. The operative in question, is said to have infiltrated a violent mob mutilating the captured Libyan dictator and shot him in the head.
Rumours circulated in Harare recently about Grace being shot, after the wife of a prominent army boss, was heard confiding to her friends in an upmarket restaurant that, the first lady must watch her step, because she was going too far, with attempts to somersault herself into the Zanu-PF presidency.