In the subsequent debate Members did not question the basic facts and some colleagues provided additional information. This revealed widespread human rights abuse and the actual names of some beneficiaries.
Following the debate, the Motion was put to the House on the 27th of October at 16.00 hrs and adopted. Following this development and immediately after the House was stood down, I was approached by a Member from Zanu PF who said to me “we will investigate and come after you”. I assumed that was a threat.
In the following three days I have had several threats and warnings, but today, Sunday the 30th of October, I left Harare to return to Bulawayo to attend to my Constituency affairs after an absence of two weeks on Party and Parliament business. My wife and I drove out of Harare at 04.30 hrs and proceeded to Umvuma Town in the Midlands.
We stopped just outside the Town to have breakfast at 07.00 hrs and a car, an unmarked, rather battered Sedan, Registration number ABL 7794 passed and turned into the same location where we were having breakfast. Three men and a woman got out of the vehicle and approached us. The woman greeted me by name and walked past to the toilets nearby, one of the men carrying a beer bottle and very much under the influence, came to the vehicle and spoke to my wife who handed him two newspapers and a copy of the MDC news letter Changing Times. This is our standard practice in small rural centers like Umvuma.
He then walked to where the others were standing and handed them the front page of Newsday dated the 28th of October in which my presentation to Parliament was shown on the front page of the paper. He read the article and pointed it out to his colleagues. With the rest of the papers in hand he returned to the motor vehicle and spoke directly to me for the first time.
He stated in the hearing of my wife that “he was from the CIO, the Presidents Office in Harare and that I was being monitored”. His language became more abusive and threatening and my wife asked him not to use such language. He ignored her and then told me that he came from (the name of a very senior Zanu PF Minister) and that he could do anything he wanted to me including to “snipe” me, at any time. I took that to be a direct threat to shoot me from a hidden location.
At no stage were we abusive ourselves or even angry. Certainly we exhibited no sign of fear at these remarks. I asked him for his name and force number and he duly gave it to me claiming that his name was Nyoni and his force number was 329741X. I asked him where his home was (Kumusha) and he replied Mwenezi District.
At this time my wife suddenly realized that we were being threatened and I became concerned that we might be detained. I also thought that in his present state the CIO officer was unpredictable and difficult to manage. I showed him my Parliamentary ID and he said that he knew who I was. He then asked my wife to explain why she was handing out newspapers and “this” he said, pointing to the Changing Times. She responded that we did that all the time and he said that this was illegal. He then turned back to me and said, “Zimbabwe is black and born in blood”, and repeated his threat to “snipe” me. I was polite to him and said that we were leaving.
They regrouped at a nearby lorry and we reversed and proceeded to drive to Bulawayo. We had no further incidents on the rest of the way.
I have no doubt that this was a direct death threat by the CIO and that the operation was authorized and ordered at the highest level. The information about Marange was and is extremely sensitive and politically explosive. However, given the situation in Zimbabwe I remain convinced that it is of vital national importance to get these resources under proper control and working for the benefit of all Zimbabweans. These threats will not deflect us from that goal.
Mr. E G Cross – Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South ConstituencyPost published in: News