Former  minister and Grace Mugabe ally raided by armed men ahead of elections

HARARE – THREE armed men shouting “CID! CID!” kicked open a door at the rural home of a former minister early Thursday and rounded up his family.

Godfrey Gandawa, running for MP as an Independent in Magunje, was not present when the men struck at around 1AM but six family members were rounded up and loaded onto a white BAIC double cab truck and driven for about six kilometres before being returned home.

A campaign agent for Gandawa, who is the incumbent MP but was forced to run as an Independent in Monday’s elections after the Zanu PF politburo stopped him from running in primaries, said the former Deputy Minister for Higher Education was “safe and secure”.

Gandawa’s mother and five other family members were sleeping at their home in the Njengenja area of Magunje when they were woken up by a door being kicked in.

Three men with guns barged in, while a fourth remained in the car.

“They were shouting ‘CID! CID!’,” according to Norman Chauke, a Gandawa election agent.

Gandawa, he said, was not there at the time after being tipped off that there was a threat to his security.

“They rounded all the adults, six in total, and left the children. They were ordered into the car and driven a short distance. There was disagreement among their kidnappers about how to proceed and they returned them,” Chauke said by phone from Magunje.

 Gandawa and Grace Mugabe

“Along the way, the men kept asking ‘where is he? He has crimes.’ They said it was not politics.”

The Gandawa family only captured the first three letters of the truck’s registration, ‘AES’. A new crack unit of the CID homicide in Harare uses trucks from BAIC , the Chinese car-maker.

Gandawa, a popular MP, is running an impressive campaign in Magunje – one of the many former Zanu PF rebels who are urging their support base to vote for MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

He is one of dozens of senior officials purged following the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe in a military coup. Several have been arrested and charged with crimes allegedly committed while they were in office.

He was previously arrested over alleged corruption at the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef). zim live