Tarisai Machakaire 19 May 2017
HARARE – Outspoken former Zanu PF youth leader for Mashonaland Central,
Godfrey Tsenengamu – who is facing serious charges of attempting to
subvert President Robert Mugabe’s government – was yesterday re-arrested
by police on the same charges.
Although Tsenengamu, who later appeared in court cuffed, was briefly set
free – after being allowed to leave the court during lunch time to get
food outside the building – his subsequent freedom bid was quashed when
Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza granted police their request to detain
She gave the State a deadline of today, to prepare necessary paperwork for
him to be formally placed on remand.
Chimbodza said Tsenengamu would not be prejudiced by his detention since
the State had only required four extra hours from the time that the
48-hour detention provision lapsed, to conclude their investigations.
This was after investigating officer, John Mudyiwa, had applied for a
warrant of Tsenengamu’s further detention, on the basis that police wanted
to recover documents and materials that were used when he allegedly
committed his crime.
“Your worship, the accused person was advocating for the president to step
down and be replaced with his preferred candidate, (Vice President
Emmerson) Mnangagwa, and I fear that the materials he used in committing
the offence, which are kept at his house, may be disposed of,” Mudyiwa
“The gallery has witnesses who have heard what I said and can cause that
evidence to be destroyed, hence the need to get to the accused person’s
residence urgently,” he added.
Tsenengamu’s lawyer, Zivanayi Macharaga, argued that the State was neither
justified to get the detention warrant, nor to have his client placed on
“Do the words allegedly uttered by the accused person constitute an
offence for anyone to be arrested?
“Is it not correct that it pertains to issues concerning Mugabe being the
party president, not the state president, such that these allegations do
“It is surprising that the State already has sufficient evidence but still
wants further detention. The court must guard itself from being dragged
into political discourse and the police by the same nature should not
abuse power by encroaching into politics,” Macharaga said.
Tsenengamu was arrested in February this year after convening a press
conference in Harare where he called for a fightback from Mnangagwa and
his allies, following Mugabe’s birthday interview with the ZBC in which
the nonagenarian appeared to crush the VP’s mooted presidential ambitions
by saying that no one in Zanu PF was worthy of succeeding him.
“It is time we go open about this succession thing because some of us have
since identified our candidate and it’s none other than Emmerson Dambudzo
Mnangagwa. If Mugabe doesn’t like him, that is up to him, but we are
saying we want him to lead now” he said in response to Mugabe’s statement.
Zanu PF is deeply divided over Mugabe’s succession, with a faction of
young party Turks going by the moniker Generation 40 (G40) and which is
rabidly opposed to Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, squaring up against the
VP’s allies, Team Lacoste.