By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Police Thursday afternoon raided the home of ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu a day after the website reported on exclusive details of an explosive Zanu PF politburo meeting.
Mathuthu confirmed that police in Bulawayo had taken his sister into custody after failing to locate the scribe at his home. He is reportedly wanted in connection with “being in possession of subversive material” for use in Friday’s 31 July protests.
“So they raided my house, found me absent and they gave my sister an ultimatum: get Mduduzi here, or we will take you. They took her. She has no journalistic or political bone on her. Please stop this madness,” Mathuthu tweeted.
Police had obtained a search and seizure warrant at the magistrates’ court to look for subversive material the journalist was believed to be in possession ahead of 31st July planned demonstrations against corruption in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration.
“Search warrant bearing a wrong address accuses him of keeping and manufacturing subversive materials and inducing Zimbabweans to engage in public violence on #July31.
“Mathuthu now in hiding.” a tweet by the site said.
This comes a day after ZimLive had reported that Mnangagwa confronted internal Zanu PF opponents “with the help of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Isaac Moyo.”
“The embattled 77-year-old leader used a Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare to accuse some Zanu PF officials of plotting against him by conspiring with the opposition, while promoting the ambitions of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to take over,” their report claimed.
Sources told ZimLive Mnangagwa had Wednesday ordered Moyo to present an “intelligence report” about a purported plot against him, believed to have been commissioned by state security minister Owen Mudha Ncube.
The CIO boss said the plot was being spearheaded by Politburo member Claveria Chizema (secretary for health, child care and the elderly) and former Mbare MP and businessman Tendai Savanhu.
Chiwenga attended the Politburo meeting and he was silently listening to the presentation by the CIO boss.
“Moyo accused Chizema and Savanhu of organising and funding the planned anti-government protests on Friday,” a source briefed on the proceedings said.
“It was styled like Jonathan Moyo’s ‘Blue Ocean’ presentation in July 2017, when the target then was Mnangagwa. It was quite theatrical, but of a lesser quality. Placards were presented, allegedly seized from all 10 provinces indicating support for Chiwenga. Moyo told the Politburo the placards were allegedly going to be paraded on July 31,” the source said.
The presentation was reportedly meant to notify Chiwenga that Mnangagwa was watching him.
Chiwenga is a former army general who led a 2017 military coup that ousted late former president Robert Mugabe.
ZimLive sources revealed, “The plan appeared to send out a message to Chiwenga that we are watching you, but they were either too cowardly to confront him or their strategy was always to just try and unnerve him.
“Moyo told the Politburo they had looked into Chiwenga and found him to be a most loyal cadre supportive of Mnangagwa’s leadership, effectively isolating Chizema and Savanhu. There was no assertive position on Savanhu taken by the Politburo. Instead, all guns were aimed at Chizema who was identified as the kingpin of the plot.”
Chiwenga is reportedly growing impatient with Mnangagwa after the Zanu PF leader’s under-fire administration is accused of massive corruption.
Recently, investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono who exposed alleged government corruption involving Mnangagwa’s son, Collins in the supply of coronavirus supplies, was Monday last week arrested and charged with inciting citizens to “participate in public violence.”
The convenor of the protests, opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume was arrested the same day by the police and charged with inciting violence.