Mugabe clears out saboteurs, claim

CIO chief under surveillance

BY STAFF REPORTER

HARARE

President Robert Mugabe has already started planning for an extended stay in power and is busy clearing out “saboteurs and sell-outs”, including Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Happyton Bonyongwe, sources have told The Zimbabwean.

According to reliable sources within the administration, Mugabe and his security service chiefs have held tense and emotional meetings, dominated by debate about how the geriatric leader is now being betrayed by people who have benefited from his patronage.

The Zimbabwean was told that the meetings decided that the waning popularity of Zanu (PF) and Mugabe was caused by the rebellion of former party politburo member Simba Makoni and by a group of powerful and influential figures around Mugabe suspected to be spying and campaigning for the MDC and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Bonyongwe was said to have been pinpointed as one of the chief architects of the Makoni rebellion, and Mugabe is understood to have intercepted communications between the CIO boss and officials on Makoni’s side, as well as foreigners believed to be backing and sponsoring the project.

According to findings of a spy team tasked by Mugabe with investigating the recent developments, a two-pronged strategy was mooted aimed at removing the dictator from and which involved senior CIO, army and police officials working in collaboration with political heavyweights around Mugabe.

The first objective was to weaken Mugabe’s centre of power through the Makoni rebellion, which split Zanu (PF) at a crucial time. But it was established quickly that Makoni would not garner enough support to defeat Tsvangirai and that took the initiative to the second level of sabotage against Mugabe, which was to help the MDC fight rigging through an unprecedented leakage of information, including official documents exposing Zanu (PF)’s rigging plans.

“Bonyongwe faces an uncertain future and Mugabe has already indicated that he is totally unhappy with his former highly trusted CIO boss,” a government source said on condition of anonymity. “It is almost inevitable now that Bonyongwe will be gotten rid of as soon as Mugabe makes his first steps to kick out the so-called sell-outs, but there are also indications pointing towards a possible more complicated move against Bonyongwe, such as being arrested and charged for fraud.”

Sources within the CIO told The Zimbabwean that Bonyongwe had been put under strict surveillance by Mugabe and stripped of power The CIO was now being run by his deputy, Menard Muzariri.

“Mr Bonyongwe is away and besides he doesn’t speak to journalists,” a secretary at his office said when he was phoned for a comment.

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