Zimbabwe is engulfed with superstitious rumours alleging that the State House – former President Mugabe's official residence throughout his 37 years of ruling this nation – is allegedly haunted.
The rumours have gone into overdrive after it emerged that the recently inaugurated President Emmerson Mnangagwa is yet to move into the residential side of State House.
The 'official' government statement is that it is undergoing renovations. Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, however, poured cold water on the rumours that Mnangagwa could be spurning occupation of State House for superstitious reasons. Some have claimed he wants a cleansing ceremony first.
"Is there a prescribed period in which the president should move in? When was Cabinet sworn in?” Charamba asked rhetorically, further inquiring why the Daily News was concerned over the moving in of Mnangagwa into the State House.
Meanwhile, on Sunday 11 August 2002, The London's Sunday Times, a British highly respected newspaper, reported that "Zimbabwe's embattled president, believes he is haunted by the ghost of a former rival who berates him for mismanaging the country."
The paper wrote: "For six months, Mugabe has been "seeing" Josiah Tongogara, a former guerrilla leader who was expected to become president in 1980, but died in a car crash. Mugabe is said to be tormented by his accusations that the revolution for which they fought has been destroyed."
The London's Sunday Times further reported: "Staff at the presidential palace say that in an effort to placate Tongogara, Mugabe sets an extra place at dinner each night and orders food to be served for him. He has sought help from witchdoctors, a rain goddess and an oracle. Dr Vlad Rankovic, a government psychiatrist, has prescribed anti-depressants to help Mugabe, 77, overcome his anxiety. The president's wife, Grace, is understood to believe his psychological deterioration began after parliamentary elections last year, when Mugabe's supporters resorted to violence to help him secure a narrow victory over the Movement for Democratic Change."
When the Daily News approached the presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, he dismissed rumours that President Emmerson Mnangagwa will not move into State House until it has undergone cleansing rituals.
"The State House is for offices and the Zimbabwe House is the boarding facility. That place has not been used for a long time, it’s undergoing renovations. That whole complex is being repainted,” Charamba said.
Special Advisor to the President, Christopher Mutsvangwa said Mugabe made a huge blunder by deserting the State House while he was still the President. This indicates that he too had supposedly found it uncomfortable to spend nights in State House, as he would put up for the day at his privately residence, The Blue Roof, in Borrowdale Brook.
"That was part of his caprices which eventually made him lose power. The president (Mnangagwa) is going to move in. This is his designated place of rule. I wouldn’t know when he will move (in but) he will move in soon," said Mutsvangwa.