CIO boss confronted Robert Mugabe to vote for Nelson Chamisa.
The Director-General of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) on Sunday revealed a dramatic confrontation he had with former President Robert Mugabe after the latter said he would vote for Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa in elections last year.
Isaac Moyo’s admission that he confronted Mugabe, who died last Friday, over his voting choice lays bare the CIO’s meddling in the country’s politics to keep Zanu-PF in power.
Mugabe made the dramatic announcement on the eve of elections in July last year, although the man who seized power from him months earlier – Emmerson Mnangagwa – went on to claim a controversial narrow victory. Mnangagwa, who came to power after the military staged a coup, had coveted Mugabe’s endorsement, which never came.
“The two women (Joice Mujuru and Thokozani Khupe) don’t seem to offer very much. So what is there? I think it’s just Chamisa,” Mugabe said at a July 30 news conference held at his sprawling residence in Harare.
He added: “I must say very clearly, I cannot vote for those who have tormented me. No. I can’t!”
Moyo, perhaps seeking to re-write history, claims that in the end Mugabe’s widow, Grace, told him that the former president had in fact voted for Zanu-PF. Mnangagwa’s intelligence chief says he “enjoyed” hearing that.
Moyo says he had been assigned by Mnangagwa to be the “link-man” between him and Mugabe.
“Of course here and there, there were also moments we had our tensions. I remember when I first went to see him after his press conference, where he announced he was going to vote for Chamisa. We really had an exchange that day, but what then emerged was that he said despite having threatened to vote for Chamisa, he actually did not vote for Chamisa,” Moyo told the Sunday Mail.
“I was told how on the eve of the elections he had agonised, he could not sleep. According to the former First Lady, he had woken up around 2AM and he said he could not sleep and the idea that he would go and vote for Chamisa was rebuffed, he could not do that.
“And the former First Lady said she then encouraged him to follow his real wishes and to vote for comrades he has always been with and not to worry about the small matters between them, and so the former First Lady, with the concurrence of Cde Mugabe himself, said he had not voted for MDC, but he had voted correctly. I found that fun and I enjoyed the story.”
Under section 208 of Zimbabwe constitution, members of the security services are barred from “acting in a partisan manner” or “furthering the interests of any political party or cause.”
The MDC has long complained of the conflation between state and party. The professionalisation of the civil service is one of the outstanding governance reforms demanded by the party.
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