Mugabe, allies press panic button

HARARE - Allies of former president Robert Mugabe have sent desperate distress calls to both sitting and former heads of state on the continent, on fears that the government may arrest the nonagenarian and his unhinged wife Grace over festering allegations that he engaged in myriad criminal activities while in power.

This comes as Grace is already under serious police investigation after being implicated in the smuggling of the country’s ivory stocks, with sources within the justice system also telling the Daily News yesterday that there were several other ongoing probes targeting the former first lady — who was accused of effecting a “bedroom coup” at State House in 2014.

Among Mugabe’s remaining associates who fear that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government may be planning to arrest the increasingly disorientated 94-year-old and his wife are self-exiled former Cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo — one of the alleged kingpins of Zanu PF’s vanquished Generation 40 (G40) faction — as well as the fledgling new opposition party that has the backing of the nonagenarian, the National Patriotic Front (NPF).

NPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire, confirmed yesterday that they had written to regional bloc Sadc, urging it to intervene and save Mugabe from alleged “harassment”.

“The harassment of Mugabe and his wife, especially the contrived ivory smuggling allegations, are clear moves by a desperate junta to tarnish the image of the two, after Mugabe came out in the open revealing that ED (Mnangagwa) and (Vice President Constantino) Chiwenga staged a coup on November 15, 2017 — and that the current government is therefore illegitimate.

“The junta was also riled by the fact that Mugabe is prepared to support NPF if we fight for a return to constitutionalism and ensure that politics leads the gun, not the current situation where guns were used to illegally topple a democratically-elected government.

“It is common cause that Mugabe and his family were under house arrest in December 2017 when the purported ivory smuggling was done, so the soldiers that were holding the family hostage should tell us how their captives found time to involve themselves in the purported ivory trade,” Mawarire charged.

The well-placed sources who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the current investigations into various dealings of the Mugabe family had been going on for the past three months, with authorities apparently sitting on several “hot” dockets that did not portray the former first family in good light.

But Mawarire claimed that the allegations were “purely political harassment as a result of the first family’s alleged links to our party”.

“If Zimbabwe is open for business, it should be open to political business. Hence, people — regardless of their past positions in government — should be allowed freedom of association, choice and expression.

“These rights are fundamental to the freeness and fairness of the forthcoming election, and we hope ED goes beyond his mantra of a free election and acquaints himself with the Sadc guidelines and principles governing democratic elections in the region.

“These are very clear on what constitutes a free and fair election and we believe he should leave ... Mugabe and his family to freely participate in the next elections if they so wish, because it's their constitutional right to do so ... we have engaged regional powers to look into the matter of Mugabe,” Mawarire added.

In its letter sent to regional leaders, including former South African president Thabo Mbeki — infamous for claiming a decade ago that there was no political crisis in Zimbabwe — the NPF warned that if Sadc leaders choose to ignore Mugabe’s current situation, there could be serious consequences for both the country and the region.

“If you ignore this ... you will ignore the Constitution of Zimbabwe, history and your responsibilities and obligations as Sadc, and the consequences will be too ghastly for everyone concerned, in Zimbabwe and in Sadc and the African Union,” reads part of the NPF letter.

The curtain fell on Mugabe last year on November 21 when he resigned moments after Parliament had started damaging proceedings to impeach him.

This followed a military intervention that was code-named Operation Restore Legacy, which saw the nonagenarian and his then influential wife being placed under house arrest.

Several Cabinet ministers linked to the G40 faction which had coalesced around Grace were also targeted in the operation, which ended just before Christmas — with the military only retreating back to their barracks after five weeks of executing the operation.

The annihilated G40 — with the visible help of Mugabe and Grace — was, before the military intervention, locked in a bitter war with Mnangagwa and his supporters for control of both Zanu PF and the country.

Moyo used micro blogging site, Twitter, at the weekend to also appeal to serving and former African leaders — including Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Mbeki, Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, Olesugun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, and former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan — to help Mugabe.

“HE P. Kagame; HE C. Ramaphosa; HE T. Mbeki; HE B. Mkapa; HE O. Obasanjo; HE Y. Museveni & HE K. Annan. Coup rulers in Zimbabwe are persecuting your brother, Mugabe. Please check on him!

“It's impossible for Zanu PF to win Zimbabwe's 2018 elections. Zanu PF is no more. What was Zanu PF was killed by the 15NovCoup and replaced by an unelectable Lacoste Junta. To remain in power, the Lacoste Junta will have to do another coup. Only EDiots think that would succeed, again,” Moyo raged.

Meanwhile, the former Higher Education minister, who is now living in self-imposed exile, is himself facing a slew of criminal allegations — which include corruption, fraud, money laundering and criminal abuse of office charges, as well as claims that he irregularly benefited from Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) donations that involved the purchase of bicycles which he donated to his former Tsholotsho North constituency.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has said that the donations of the bicycles was not done above board.

The anti-graft body further claims that Moyo, his then deputy Godfrey Gandawa, and Zimdef chief executive Frederick Mandizvidza, were at the centre of multiple corrupt and fraudulent activities running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On his part, Moyo has said that he is not corrupt, since going on to work hard to discredit the current government, by repeatedly questioning the legitimacy of Mnangagwa and his new dispensation which has been warmly embraced by Sadc, the African Union and all key Western powers.

On his part, the sulking Mugabe has in recent weeks addressed the international community on his resignation as president last year, which he has said was forced on him by military commanders.

The nonagenarian has also complained bitterly to the African Union that Mnangagwa’s government is allegedly not treating him well — including through the supposed withholding of some of the eye-watering benefits he was promised upon his fall from power.

While it has not been publicly confirmed, the Daily News has it on good authority that Mugabe has been personally assured of his immunity from prosecution for all the crimes that he may have committed during his tenure in office. However, it is believed that this blanket immunity does not cover the much-disliked Grace.

The nonagenarian is said to have pressed the panic button over the fate of his wife after authorities initiated investigations on Grace’s controversial PhD degree, as well as her alleged involvement in the smuggling of ivory.

However, legal expert Alex Magaisa said Mugabe himself could still face prosecution if Mnangagwa’s government decided to pursue that route.

“Mugabe is exposed to legal action. It is presumably on this basis that the exit deal includes provision for immunity from lawsuits. The question is whether the exit deal takes precedence over the Constitution.

“Section 2(1) of the Constitution states that, ‘This Constitution is the supreme law of Zimbabwe and any law, practice, custom or conduct inconsistent with it is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency’.

“This means if, as it appears, the deal is inconsistent with the Constitution, it is invalid. If sued, the courts should give precedence to the Constitution and he would have to prove that his acts were done in good faith.

“As for members of his family, the immunity would not hold. They never had immunity during his presidency and they cannot claim immunity now,” Magaisa said.

Comments (16)

Iwe Jerasi Mawarire nemurume wako Jonah, nyaya yamuri kutamba nayo iyi ichakuzvimbirai pamberi apo!!

Kleto Chuma - 27 March 2018

KKKKKK, Pakaipa, who ever thought that this will happen in Zimbabwe. As much as I am not happy with the changes in Zimbabwe, Mugabe must dance to his music. He has made the whole region to suffer, not just us here in Zim. Thise who are crying on his behalf must be investigated too because you cannot tell me that they are ignorant of his rot and his wife. The Crocodile must bite big time. That family externalsed a lot of money. Buying a stupid ring for more than one million whilestisu kuno tichashaya mari yekutenga katsaona chaiko kehupfu, murikutamba imi.

Matingindi - 27 March 2018

There is a clear distinction betwen political harassment and corruption. Just like JZ in SA, he is not claiming harassment for issues which should be argued in court. The G40s should not preempt legal processes but should endeavour to prove their innocence in court. Former, current or future leaders in Africa and the entire whole works have no moral authority to stop the arrest of criminals no matter their status in life.

Joseph Mutasa - 27 March 2018

Mawarire and company, where were you when Tsvangirai was being harassed on trumped up charges. On several occasions Mugabe has advised other presidents to stay out of Zimbabwe issues. The same should still hold.

Yohwe - 27 March 2018

the old man forgets things , He said this country can not be taken from him by a pen and paper yet he got it by a barrel of a gun meaning who ever want it should use a barrel of a gun . The current government to over from him through a barrel of a gun he is complaining that the government is illigitimen . When they want him to face the law for all criminal affences committed during his reign of tarrer he complains saying its harasment . He made lot of amendment to the constitution to fever him in power forgetting that one day those amendments are going to work against him. Sure we can not let a criminal go unchallenged . There is no one who is above the law

FUTURE LEADERS - 27 March 2018

Mawarire write another letter to God if you are really concerned with Mr Mugabe and his family's safety.Grace Mugabe is being investigated for a criminal offence - smuggling ivory out of the country.That has nothing to do with politics.Sadc and the AU are aware that there is peace in Zimbabwe.

wise - 27 March 2018

Mawarire write another letter to God if you are really concerned with Mr Mugabe and his family's safety.Grace Mugabe is being investigated for a criminal offence - smuggling ivory out of the country.That has nothing to do with politics.Sadc and the AU are aware that there is peace in Zimbabwe.

wise - 27 March 2018

Mugabe is a mistake Zimbos allowed to fester too long to our detriment. Let's completely erase this fool from our consciousness and use him as a cautionary tale. We must completely ignore him and focus on rebuilding what the fool destroyed. That's my take.

Moe Syslack - 27 March 2018

Mawarire unopenga iwe. Sadc leaders have nothing to do ne macrimes aGrace, if she was involved in the illegal trade they should be arrested. This affects ordinary citizens not Sadc leaders. Munakwana ndimi munozviita malawyer wani. We have pple in prison for crimes saka why should Grace and her husband be spared

Jambo - 28 March 2018

Nguva yavo vachatonga vanhu vaipinzwa mujerinenyaya yemhoswa dzavo.Tine hama dzakasungwa nenyaya dzenzou saka they should be no exception.

simplex - 28 March 2018

Jonathan moyo is mentally sick if grace has commited crime she must be investigated if mugabe has committed crime he too must be investigated no one is above the law mr moyo the educated fool check properly the meaning of harassment all criminals must be locked including grace and mugabe viva press mnangagwa viva justice for all mugabe is not special he is the worst criminal he has committed zimbabweans where were you proffessor when grace was doing shopping in london while zimbabweans were drinking urine to survive how man people were killed under mugabe how much has mugabe stolen how many people are jobles because of mugabe and the greedy mother grace

dave - 28 March 2018

tendai bure - 28 March 2018

The Mnangagwa junta has no respect for the great african leader-Robert Mugabe. The way he is treated is appalling and disrespectful. It is actually embarrassing .

Ken Sharpe - 28 March 2018

Where is the harassment if somebody is being investigated for purportedly committing a crime? If anything, the old man should have a taste of his own medicine. Remember politics is not for the faint-hearted; zvaitoda vana Save who were able to endure Mugabe's brutality. It really boggles the mind that we have lawyers as foolish as this Mawarire guy. You are a shame to the people of Zimbabwe.

Tichaona - 29 March 2018

Haaa if youn feel that what is happen to that old men and her wife is not fair, then take him to 1st street to face the people of Zimbabwe who lost families during his time, l actually prayer a long suffering death , l lost my beloved ones not to mention during Mugabe , he must keep quite

momo - 29 March 2018

i can guarantee you that are legit and can be trusted,have you them before and they didnt let me down.Alex refers you

alex - 2 April 2018

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