President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s security details went into overdrive during an event at the Zanu PF leader’s Kwekwe farm, going to the extent of using a drone in scouring for potential threats.
Guests that sat with Mnangagwa at the VVIP tent during a field day held at his farm last Thursday revealed that close circuit television cameras had been set up to monitor proceedings at the high table.
The VVIP tent accommodated Mnangagwa, his wife Auxillia, cabinet ministers, Zanu PF politburo members, ZCC founder Nehemiah Mutendi and top executives from agro-based companies led by Seedco.
A drone, which was being operated by military personnel took aerial shots to monitor the event.
Villagers from the Sherwood area said some soldiers had frisked them while they were carrying out their normal chores far from Pricabe Farm where the field day was being held.
“My friend was setting up his traps for mice and was rounded up by the soldiers who perhaps thought he could have been doing something sinister. He was later freed after being quizzed,” said a villager.
Mnangagwa used a helicopter to travel to the farm.
On the 3km strip road from the Harare highway to the farm, there were four security checkpoints with the ZRP manning the middle one while soldiers were at the other two checkpoints.
Nick Mangwana, the government spokesperson, said there was nothing unusual about Mnangagwa’s security arrangements.
“Any security arrangements are always dynamic to remove any predictability and details of such are not a subject of public discourse,” he said.
But political analyst Eldred Masunungure said the increased security around Mnangagwa was understandable given the volatile situation in the country.
“Currently the situation is volatile and anything can happen,” he said.
“The centre cannot hold and it is a matter of how long it can stay like that.”
Another political analyst, Rashweat Mukundu, said Mnangagwa should be a worried man due to the current deepening economic crisis.
“Generally one coup begets another because coups are antithesis of democracy and inspired by selfishness yet what we want is orderly, peaceful and constitutional transitions,” he said.
“While this is possible it is not something we should wish for as citizens, but rather that the right of citizens to elect leaders remains sacrosanct as per the constitution.”
Mnangagwa rose to power in 2017 after long time rule Robert Mugabe was toppled in a military coup.
— The Standard