‘Coup plotter’ fears for his life

The alleged coup plotter who was arrested in a dramatic military swoop in central Harare on May 5 2007 says he fears for his life after he was recently mugged by suspected state agents.

Emmanuel Marara: My life is under attack again after spending four years in prison for nothing back home.

Emmanuel Marara: My life is under attack again after spending four years in prison for nothing back home.

Together with retired army captain Albert Matapo and five others, Emmanuel Marara, a former Warrant Officer Class Two based at Pomona Barracks, was accused of leading a plot to topple President Robert Mugabe and replace him with the then Defence Minister  Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is now vice president.

“I thought by leaving Zimbabwe these Zanu (PF) people and their security personnel masquerading as soldiers and intelligence operatives would just leave me alone, but I was wrong,” Marara told The Zimbabwean this week.

“Before I was attacked I was followed wherever I went. At some point a camera flash hit me, but I did not see who took the picture. I am worried because I do not know where my picture was taken to. Last week I was attacked by four guys who told me that I thought I could run and hide but that  has never happened where they are involved. I suffered a lot of bruises, but I escaped as I screamed resulting in them running away because they did not want to attract public attention. This all happened in downtown Johannesburg.  I am now keeping close to where I stay because I do not know what will happen to me,” he said.

Marara is afraid to report the incident as the South African police and its intelligence operatives are known for spearheading abduction and rendition of Zimbabweans.

“I am just living in hiding hoping by staying indoors they will give up on me. I cannot trap myself and hand over myself to the SA cops because they operate with these Zimbabwean thugs who are hunting us down for being against Mugabe’s misrule. What we only want is for Mugabe to go in a peaceful way – not all these lies that we are coup plotters. The problem is my family is suffering in the process as I am a sole breadwinner. My life is under attack again after spending four years in prison for nothing back home,” added a worried Marara.

Disease and death
When he was released from prison in 2011 he publicly talked about the hunger, disease and death he had witnessed there. “At one time, especially in 2008, an inmate population of 1 700 was fed with “two bins of cabbage” served with minute morsels of sadza as a day’s meal. As many as 20 people died on a daily basis at one point,” said Marara, who spent exactly four years and one day in secret military torture chambers, army detention barracks, police holding cells and the notorious Class D cells of Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

Marara still professes innocence. In fact, he is dumbfounded anyone could have fathomed he could have ever contemplated removing Mugabe from power  through a coup. He rubbished controversial musician-cum-Zanu (PF) activist Energy Mutodi who recently fingered him as part of the crew said to be plotting to assassinate VP Mnangagwa.

“Why would I want to kill failed politicians? Why would I work with people like Phelekezela Mphoko who have always worked against the people of Zimbabwe? The Mutodi person must learn better ways of boot-licking. I do not care about what happens in their house. I have a life to live out of the Zanu (PF) territory. They should deal with their issues as killers and leave my name out of it. Let Mphoko kill them, it’s not my duty to play their dirty politics and decide who should be the leader,” he said.

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