File photo: President Mnangagwa at State House
Two Harare men allegedly posed as Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officers in a bid to gain entry into the State House, court heard on Monday.
Nigel Rutsito, 37, and Dylan Kanyungwe, 24, were held without bail after being separately charged with trespassing before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko on Monday.
They were remanded in custody to September 14.
In apparently unrelated events, but within hours of each other, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Rutsito arrived at State House on July 17 and approached soldiers guarding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ceremonial residence.
He allegedly told the soldiers that he was a CIO agent and was reporting for duty.
The soldiers, the prosecution says, asked for his security badge which he failed to produce.
The NPA says that the security team then identified Rutsito as the individual who had attempted to gain entry a day earlier, and placed him under arrest for trespassing.
Kanyungwe, meanwhile, allegedly turned up at State House at around 1PM on the same day. He demanded to be allowed through, insisting that he wanted to meet Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
Kanyungwe, says the prosecution, was advised that Chiwenga, who is also the minister of health, does not stay at State House.
It is alleged Kanyungwe “became riotous” and attempted to force entry, leading to his arrest.
Zimbabwe’s State House is one of the most guarded residencies, with vehicles prohibited from driving on nearby roads between 6PM and 6AM.
State House guards are often accused of brutalising people, including motorists whose vehicles break down nearby.