Mugabe digs in

President Robert Mugabe, under mounting internal and external pressure over his rule, is tightening security, surveillance and communications at State House.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe

The Zimbabwean can report that trenches are being dug into the property to connect fibre optic cables and surveillance equipment.

Authoritative sources said there were multimillion dollar plans to construct underground reinforced concrete bunkers at State House and at another secret location, authoritative sources said this week.

Since the advent of the unity government the use of computer technology has been rapidly expanded upon. Engineers arrived at State House to find 10-year-old Windows PCs and a mess of disconnected land-line phones.

"There is re-trunking of the whole system to make the property a WiFi zone," said a source.

Mugabe has reportedly made valiant efforts to keep up with technology and has an iPhone 4.

But he is also said to be making elaborate security preparations for any eventuality, including the possibility of a civil war should he lose the next election and should his Zanu (PF) party refuse to give up power.

North Africa developments, particularly the Ivory Coast and Libyan scenarios, have made Mugabe aware of the possibility of an attack if he refuses to leave office after losing elections, and his administration is bringing new urgency to the matter. Sources said the CIO has requested funds for building "fallout shelter."

The plan to construct the bunkers was in fact a long-delayed idea first mooted by Mugabe’s top security advisers at the height of tensions between Zimbabwe and the then apartheid government ruling in South Africa in the mid-1980s.

Bunkers are credited with having saved dictator Laurent Gbagbo after Allassane Outtara's supporters overran State House. They also saved Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War when the Allied Forces destroyed his surface bases.

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