Mary-Kate Kahari/Malvin Motsi
CAPE TOWN/HARARE– An increasingly paranoid President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is reportedly building a state-of-the-art command bunker underneath his new private mansion, in the opulent suburb of Borrowdale in Harare, Spotlight Zimbabwe, can exclusively reveal.
A bunker is a place, usually underground, that has been built with strong walls to protect it against heavy gunfire and bombing.
Mnangagwa has been having cold sweat over his security in recent times, amid fears of being either assassinated by his political rivals or being kicked out of office violently.
High level sources inside the ministry of state security, have revealed that Mnangagwa does not feel safe at State House, nor at his farm in Kwekwe, therefore he has resorted to constructing “a bomb-proof bunker” below the new mansion he’s building for himself on a 3.69 hectare prime property in Borrowdale.
“The president is very afraid of the possibility of being assassinated or being kicked out of office by violent means,” the sources said.
“His security advisors recommended that he builds a bomb-proof command bunker at his new mansion in the capital. The bunker is being installed with essential additional security features and communications systems, which will allow him to even run the country from an underground office. At this point he trusts nobody in government and the party. They’re people who want him dead, and don’t want to miss next time an opportunity presents itself.”
Mnangagwa survived what he called an “assassination attempt” on his life shortly before the 2018 elections, when there was a bomb blast at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, where he was addressing a campaign rally.
On 23 June 2018, a grenade exploded at White City Stadium in Bulawayo. The blast occurred at a ruling Zanu PF campaign rally, just after Mnangagwa had finished giving a speech.
The bombing resulted in at least 49 injured, including Vice-Presidents Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, and other high-ranking government officials. Two security agents later died of their injuries.
In an interview with the BBC several days after the blast, Mnangagwa blamed the attack on former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s G40 faction within Zanu PF, only stopping short of blaming former President Robert Mugabe himself directly.
The state security officials also said Mnangagwa is fearful of being humiliated in similar fashion, as former Libyan and Iraq dictators, Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein, who were both publicly shamed and disgraced before losing power. They added that the Zanu PF leader, had intelligence information of another bombing attempt on his life.
Gaddafi was captured and killed on 20 October 2011 during the Battle of Sirte. The late despot was found hiding in a culvert west of Sirte and captured by National Transitional Council forces.
A graphic video of his last moments show rebel fighters beating him and one of them sodomizing him with a bayonet before he was shot several times as he pleaded for his life.
“Mnangagwa does not want to be humiliated and go down the Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein way. There is intelligence information he was given, that he might be targeted by another bombing. For this reason, this newly built bunker, is going to be protected by shock absorbers and a thick shell of reinforced concrete, according to the engineers involved in the project.”
Revelations of Mnangagwa’s new Harare mansion, first surfaced a year after the November 2017 coup he made on Mugabe. It is not clear how the project is being funded but government insiders who spoke to a private daily at the time, claim it is being bankrolled by Treasury with Mnangagwa expected to pay back the money.
This publication last october, was first to report that Mnangagwa, was believed to have bought an exquisite massive beachfront villa in Dubai, where he allegedly intends to retire or alternatively use the property as an exile bolthole should he be forced out of power.
Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa’s mobile phone was on voicemail the whole day yesterday, when efforts were made to contact her for an official government comment.