CIO deputy director collapses and dies
The Deputy Director (Internal) of Zimbabwe’s notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Elias Kanengoni, collapsed and died on Wednesday.
Nehanda Radio understands Kanengoni died at the West End Hospital in Harare in the evening but some reports say he collapsed and died on his farm in Concession. A source at the hospital told us he had problems with his spine.
Kanengoni gained notoriety during the 1990 general elections when he shot the late former Gweru Mayor Patrick Kombayi. Kanengoni and a Zanu PF activist, Kizito Chivamba, pumped over six bullets into Kombayi’s groin.
Kombayi’s only crime was to contest against Mugabe’s deputy, the late Vice-President Simon Muzenda, for a parliamentary seat in Gweru.
Despite Kanengoni (then just a junior operative) and Chivamba being sentenced to serve a seven year jail sentence they were controversially pardoned by Mugabe, using his presidential powers.
Not only was Kanengoni pardoned he was promoted, rising through the CIO ranks to Deputy Director General (internal). In 2010 he was appointed into the Zanu PF Central Committee, sparking protests from the MDC-T that a serving CIO chief should not be taking part in politics.
In 2008 when the CIO was rocked by serious infighting between Director General Happyton Bonyongwe and his late deputy Maynard Muzariri. Bonyongwe was accused of supporting the presidential bid of Simba Makoni, while Muzariri backed Mugabe to stay in power.
The rivalry was so intense it nearly paralysed the organization as the two CIO bosses spent time spying on each other. Showing how Mugabe rewards loyal operatives it was reported that the Zanu PF leader contemplated making Kanengoni the Director General of the CIO, to stop the infighting.
In June 2010 Kanengoni was doing the bidding of his masters again. He was reported to have assembled a hit squad that was responsible for ‘disciplining’ villagers in Chiweshe who did not toe the ZANU PF line during the constitutional outreach meetings.