Harare- The United States government described the death of former defence minister, Moven Mahachi as a possible political assassination by members of his Zanu (PF) party since the police failed to give a satisfactory answer, latest diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.
The cable indicated that the death of Mahachi was the second of a cabinet minister within a month.
“The impact caused the minister’s vehicle to roll and the tall Mahachi, who was sitting higher than other passengers, was killed instantly when the car’s roof collapsed on his head, according to Egyptian DCM Kadri Abdel-Mottaleb, who heard the account of army commander Constantine Chiwenga.”
“Police have taken pains to say that there was nothing sinister about the crash, a way of dying, long associated here with Zanu (PF) political assassination.
“Mahachi’s demise in a road traffic accident is the second in a month (Minister of Youth and Development, Gender and Employment Creation Border Gezi was killed on April 28) and has left President Mugabe Reeling. The late defence minister was one of Zanu (PF) “Old Guard”, who fought side by side with Mugabe in Mozambique and was a member of his delegation at the Lancaster House Constitutional conference.“
The death of Mahachi came hard on the heels of the resignation of Nkosana Moyo –then Industry and International Trade minister, the cable said.
The cable added that Mugabe will be hard pressed to find supporters “unquestioningly enthusiastic” as Gezi and Mahachi.
“It is possible that, given his penchant for springing surprises, the Zimbabwean Chief Executive could promote a war veteran leader as defence minister, although national Liberation war veterans association President Chenjerai Hunzvi is seriously ill and not expected to recover his health. The so-called war veterans comprise Zanu (PF) gangster militia, however would not Command the respect of professional military officers, who consider Hunzvi and his ilk undisciplined.”
The cable said with Mahachi and Gezi now consigned to the “ash heap of history, and Hunzvi not far behind, we will have to watch closely to see whether Mugabe is able to find others willing to wage a war against their own people with much relish.”
Hunzvi died in June 2004, and another separate cable said “it had been an open secret that he suffered from HIV/AIDS.”
Meanwhile Movement for Democratic Change National Organising Secretary Nelson Chamisa has come out guns blazing, accusing the US ambassador Ray Charles of being a “mere mortal” seeking to exploit his name to add dignity to his diplomatic cables.
According to the latest postings on the whistle blower website, WikiLeaks, US ambassador Ray wrote of a meeting he had in 2010 with Chamisa and MDC-T senator Obert Gutu who allegedly described their leader Morgan Tsvangirai as a weak and indecisive leader.
This was widely seen as potentially capable of poisoning his long relationship with the MDC leader.
But a visibly incensed Chamisa told journalists at a press briefing Thursday that the cables were a "non issue and mere opinions" that were not being taken seriously by his party.
“There is no cohesion in terms of the so called cables which were just opinions by a mere mortal who was possibly doing so without realising that it will actually come out some time. So he is the culprit rather than somebody whom they just allege,” said Chamisa.
“It is not a crime to have a name that is credible. So if they feel that for something to be understood in America, they need to have a credible name in the name of Chamisa, drop it. That does not constitute a crime.”
Chamisa also took a swipe at the State controlled Herald and Sunday Mail broadsheets for “putting a spin” to the information gleaned from the website in an attempt to divide the party.
“Please help us advise the herald to report accurately, help us advise The Sunday Mail not to put unnecessary spins that will not help them,” he continued.
“As far as we are concerned as a political party, we are not going to waste our time listening to political tsetse flies and political mosquitoes located at the Herald and the Sunday Mail. We have developed an elephant skin, it will not help. They hope that by some miracle they are going to divide the people’s party.”
While reporting about the issue, The Herald had a screaming headline,“Chamisa and Gutu tear Tsvangirai to pieces”.
Chamisa took the opportunity reaffirm his support for Tsvangirai.
“We have one undisputed, solid leader in the name of President Tsvangirai, we are loyal to that president,” he said.
“We just came from the congress where the leader was unanimously endorsed. We are not fools, we are not stupid. We will not allow Zanu (PF) to smile. Anything that makes Zanu (PF) mad is what becomes our music.”
Speaking during the same occasion, MDC-T national spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the party resolved in December 2010 that it will not allow information coming from WikiLeaks to divide it.
"It is not a new issue to the MDC," he said, "The party will not concern itself with information coming from WikiLeaks and it will not allow this information to unnecessarily divide it.
"Legal experts would tell you that the evidential value coming from the newspapers is not very minimal. On this issue the party will not take any position on that information alone as it stands and that resolution has not been varied. It stands." Radiovop