Bomb shelter for Mugabe mansion

BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - Workmen are placing bombproof underground shelter and concrete posts around President Robert Mugabe's retirement mansion in Borrowdale Brooke for increased security following the ageing leader's claims of threats against him.
The 82-year-old leader, who has been in powe

r since independence in 1980, has made repeated claims that he faces a “terrorist threat” from local opposition forces in British pay.
The move, which critics say betrays Mugabe’s growing security paranoia, comes amid reports that politburo members are now being thoroughly frisked before going into meetings.
According to party insiders, the move was an indication of the siege mentality gripping Mugabe, who apparently fears that people could bring charms and weapons into meetings.
Mugabe has said that his lieutenants were approaching traditional healers for good-luck charms to help them become president after his retirement in 2008.
The underground bombproof chambers are being built by reinforced concrete and designed to withstand intense military pressure that includes aerial bombings. This is on top of imposing a no-fly-zone above his mansion and banning neighbours taking walks or driving anywhere which puts them in full view of the mansion.
The sources said the only plausible explanation was that Mugabe was preparing for any eventuality in Zimbabwe, including the possibility of a civil war over his plans to cling on to power.
It was not possible to get comment from the Zimbabwe government as Acting Information Minister Paul Mangwana has banned all interviews with The Zimbabwean and the independent Press.
Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi snubbed The Zimbabwean when he was originally contacted for comment on Zimbabwe’s arms importation programme three weeks ago. This week the CIO, which is jointly working on the bunkers project with the Ministry of Defence, refused to comment.

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