Ernest Tekere, a former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative who planted cameras in the bedroom of Archbishop Pius Ncube and captured the Catholic priest romping with his personal assistant has been found hanged in his office in Bulawayo.
Tekere was found dead just before midday on Monday in a security company he ran on Josiah Tongogara Street between 12th and 13th Avenue in the City of Kings.
Friends said it was the third time he had attempted to take his life. One of his relatives who spoke on the condition of anonymity told journalists that Tekere killed himself shortly after holding a business meeting.
“He was generally a nice guy but he seemed to have these demons following him. The last time he attempted to kill himself was last September, and that was his second attempt.
‘You really can’t say he had any problems because he had many houses, many cars and his children, two of them are doctors. I think you can only explain this in terms of spirits, he was in the CIO and one guesses they did terrible things there,” the relative told ZimLive in an interview.
During his time, Tekere was identified as a key player during the 1980s Gukurahundi massacres in the Midlands and Matabeleland which saw more than 20 000 civilians killed.
Late former Minister Welshman Mabhena remembered being arrested alongside liberation stalwart Nevison Nyashanu on charges of plotting to topple the government in the 1980s by Tekere and detained at Eiffel Flats, where Tekere then in charge of the CIO in Kadoma was their interrogator before being transferred to Bulawayo.
“Tekere featured during Gukurahundi,” Nkala said in a 2007 interview. “He was a CIO operative and I am prepared to confirm that. If he continues denying it, I will reveal more.”
In 2007, Tekere planted cameras inside Ncube’s bedroom and captured the cleric who had taken a celibacy vow having sex with his married assistant.
Pictures and videos escapades dominated state media for weeks, and Ncube was eventually hauled in by the Vatican, a victory for then President Robert Mugabe who had managed to silence one of his harshest critics.
A year later, the woman alleged to have been in the sex videos with Ncube, Rosemary Sibanda, died from pneumonia just a year later in May 2008.