Gunshots fired as daring thieves storm President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s private residence

President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The Mnangagwa family is facing a growing wave of security concerns after a series of brazen attacks, including a break-in at the President’s private residence in the exclusive Hellensville neighbourhood, just outside Harare.

In the early hours of July 6, gunshots shattered the tranquility of the exclusive Hellensville neighborhood in Harare as thieves brazenly broke into President Mnangagwa’s fortified private residence. This marked the third incident of its kind, following similar break-ins at the home of the president’s son, David Mnangagwa, and the office of his nephew, Tongai Mnangagwa, who also serves as the deputy tourism minister.

According to eyewitnesses, at least three male individuals were seen fleeing the scene on Wheeleon Road, moments before police arrived and fired warning shots. The daring thieves, undeterred by the presence of security forces, managed to escape, leaving behind a trail of chaos and confusion. Speculations abound regarding the motive behind these targeted attacks, with police suspecting that the gang may have been after construction equipment stored at the president’s residence.

The sprawling two-storey mansion, situated on a vast expanse of prime urban land, has been under construction for over five years. Built by the Chinese company Zim Nantong Construction, the house remains unfinished, surrounded by eight cluster houses in various stages of development. Despite the president’s elevated status and the prominent location of his residence, the incident has exposed significant lapses in security measures.

This latest incident follows a disturbing pattern of attacks targeting members of the Mnangagwa family. Just two weeks prior, the home of the President’s son, Deputy Finance Minister David Mnangagwa, was targeted twice. In the first incident, iPads were smashed, papers torn, and the deputy minister’s Berreta pistol and 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition stolen. Two days later, three bullets were found outside his bedroom door, with two more discovered on the lawn. A fire then broke out at the house on June 28th, requiring hours to extinguish.

Adding to the growing sense of unease, the office of the President’s nephew, Deputy Tourism Minister Tongai Mnangagwa, was also targeted in a break-in between July 5th and 8th. An intruder, gaining access through the ceiling, targeted the 6th floor of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority offices.

While police have yet to make any arrests in any of these incidents, the pattern of attacks has sparked widespread speculation that they are politically motivated, potentially linked to the internal power struggles within Zanu-PF. Law enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have however, maintained that no such link has been established.

“We are investigating these incidents, and we are following all leads,” a senior police official reportedly said. “At this stage, we cannot confirm any motives or links between these incidents.”

However, the timing of these attacks, coinciding with the ongoing political machinations within Zanu-PF, has fuelled speculation. The President’s son, David, has been increasingly vocal in his support for his father’s leadership, while Tongai has also been seen as a rising star within the party.

Political analysts believe that these attacks could be a tactic to intimidate and destabilise the President’s family, potentially weakening his position within the party.

“It is impossible to ignore the political context in which these attacks are taking place,” said Mr David Chuma, a political analyst. “The Mnangagwa family is clearly being targeted, and the timing of these incidents suggests a deliberate attempt to create fear and uncertainty.”

The attacks have also raised concerns about the security of the President himself, with some questioning the effectiveness of the Presidential Guard.

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