HARARE - The deadly fights within President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF took an ominous turn yesterday after Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Martin Dinha, received an AK47 bullet and a threatening message telling him to step down or risk suffering the same fatal fate that befell the late Zanu PF political commissar, Elliot Manyika, who died in a suspicious car accident in 2008.
Although efforts to talk to Dinha last night were not successful, well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News that ‘the parcel’ with the bullet and threatening message was delivered to the minister’s office just after midnight yesterday morning — amid “clear indications” that this was the work of hardliners angling to succeed Mugabe in the nonagenarian’s fast-imploding party.
The lawyer-turned-politician, a lightweight in Zanu PF, was said to be “very shaken and in hiding”.
Although once linked to ousted former Vice President Joice Mujuru, Dinha is now said to be very close to the First Family — which has apparently displeased some hawks among Zanu PF’s ambitious young Turks, who are known as the Generation 40 (G40) camp.
The bullet and threatening message.
It is claimed that the G40 is not only impatient to take over from Mugabe and other ageing party bigwigs such as Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but also that they “desire sole and unfettered influence” over the nonagenarian’s influential wife, Grace — who insiders say will have a major say over who succeeds her husband.
It was Dinha who recently had the nasty job of chasing away poor villagers from Manzou Farm in Mazowe, allegedly to pave way for a game sanctuary for Grace — who already owns vast tracts of land in the area.
One of the sources who spoke to the Daily News last night, and who is close to Dinha — who has survived several attempts to oust him from his ministerial post over the past few months — said the AK47 bullet and the threatening message had been delivered to his offices in the wee hours of Monday morning by an identified man.
“Someone went to the minister’s office and left an envelope with the security guards. As is the norm, when Dinha’s secretary arrived in the morning, the envelope was handed to her and she duly opened it and discovered the disturbing contents.
“She immediately phoned her boss, who was shaken by this development. As we speak, he has gone into hiding. For your own information, Manyika was given a death threat before he was eliminated. So the minister is taking the threats seriously,” the source said.
A menacing message accompanied the AK47 bullet and read, “Game over Dinha, resign now or else we get you. Dinha your time is up and you messed with the wrong guys”.
But police in Bindura professed ignorance regarding the matter, with the force’s Mashonaland Central head, Munorwei Shava Matutu, saying he had not been informed about the matter.
“I am hearing this for the first time from you. I am not aware, maybe you can phone the minister’s office,” he said.