FIRST Lady Cde Grace Mugabe yesterday said her son, Bellarmine Chatunga, had been marked for death by a Zanu-PF faction trying to stampede President Robert Mugabe out of power before he finishes his term. The Zanu-PF Women’s League secretary told thousands of Zanu-PF supporters in Chiweshe, Mashonaland Central, how the faction had roped in members of the military to carry out “demonic” acts, including bombing her Alpha Omega Dairy plant in Mazowe with the real possibility an explosion there would kill dozens of orphans at her orphanage nearby.
Without naming the leader of the said faction, or his associates, the First Lady said: “You wanted to bomb my dairy. There’re orphans I’m looking after there. What evil, what demonic spirit possesses one to do that? “You want me to respect you, smile at you and say well done? Oh no! My teeth aren’t crazy. Time will come [to tell all]. Don’t play with me.”
She said the planned bombing of the dairy was designed to induce fear in President Mugabe so that he quits. “Come to the next rally,” she said. “We’ll drop names. This thing of teaming up with soldiers to go and bomb, it won’t work.
“If your plan is to bomb our dairy to induce fear, hoping we’ll surrender power, then you must be mad, very mad.
“Which post are you dreaming of occupying? Whose seat? Didn’t you hear there’s no vacancy at State House? We’re still there, my clothes, my things and my children are there.” During salutations, the First Lady said she welcomed “service chiefs here present”, then added: “Only don’t bomb my dairy, that’s all I ask.”
She then revealed how malevolent forces in the party as well as the military had even hatched a plot to murder her 19-year-old son. “Imagine it has got to a stage where they want to kill my son, Bellarmine. Is it fair to expect me to smile at you?” Sharpening her attack, the First Lady said the leader of the faction behind these shenanigans was of questionable morals, with children all across the country.
“Aren’t you ashamed? Killing other people’s children when you’ve yours, all 20,000 of them? Mugabe only has the three. Spare us these pretences of loving the President, I can read through your lies and I know you’re lying,” she said.
Police foiled a January 29 plot to bomb the First Family’s dairy plant in Mazowe, arresting four men and seizing petrol bombs and propaganda material in a dawn ambush.
Two of the men, Borman Ngwenya, 30, and Solomon Makumbe, 29, are serving army officers. Owen Kuchata, 34, said to be the leader of a fringe party, the Zimbabwe People’s Front, was last week jailed for nine years over the plot.
The trio, along with Silas Pfupa, 37, also face treason charges over an alleged plot to bomb President Mugabe’s Zvimba home. Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana was arrested on February 1 after he dropped criminal charges against Pfupa and Makumbe on the basis that he was turning them into state witnesses. His trial for criminal abuse of office and obstruction of justice is pending.
Zanu-PF national commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere told the First Lady to fear nothing, saying party loyalists were ready to die for her and President Mugabe.
“Amai (First Lady) don’t be intimidated. This business of coming to Mazowe carrying bombs, forget it. Mashonaland Central will not accept it. We’re going to die for President Mugabe. If it means we die for him, we must die for him,” Cde Kasukuwere stormed.
“You make grenades with petrol and paraffin. Who do you want to threaten? As I speak right now, they’re busy trying to raise money for bail for those criminals. Why are you doing that? If you defend President Mugabe, why are you defending criminals? Who do you want to bomb? Who chose that target? Why do you go for the President? Amai, we need serious introspection. It’s time to tell each other some home truths. If you love the President, defend him!”
Cde Kasukuwere said the younger generation was also prepared to die for President Mugabe’s cause. “Amai, go and tell the President that war veterans fought for the liberation struggle, but the younger generation is also prepared to die for President Mugabe’s cause,” he said.
“We don’t support President Mugabe, but we believe in President Mugabe. If he forms a church today, we’ll follow him. We don’t want people who fool the President pretending to love him more. You’re busy defending criminals who wanted to kill the President. We know who did it and we’re not scared of you. Amai, Mashonaland Central is here for you.”
Cde Kasukuwere said he had no fear, saying no-one had “title deeds” for Zimbabwe.
“Don’t threaten us,” he said. “There’s no-one who has title deeds for this country. We’re tired of you, we’re now removing the gloves. Let’s go for bare hands. Either you’re behind Mugabe, or get out of the party. If you’re not happy with your present position, just leave. There’s someone who wants to take over that chair.”
Cde Kasukuwere said he was the only intelligence officer who entered the headquarters of Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama in Mozambique, so people should not brag about their war credentials.
During the Zanu-PF national people’s conference last December, President Robert Mugabe warned service chiefs to stop meddling in Zanu-PF politics. “The military, police and the intelligence are now involved and split as well. Let’s stop this,” he said. “We don’t want factions. Nobody has people. We’re all Zanu PF.”
President Mugabe was given a new five-year mandate as Zanu-PF leader which expires in 2019, a year after general elections in 2018.