via Dongo receives death threats – DailyNews Live 16 November 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba
HARARE – Outspoken war veteran and former intelligence officer, Margaret Dongo, has been threatened with death if she “does not stop speaking ill” of President Robert Mugabe.
The ex-Zanu PF legislator, who has become one of the ruling party’s and Mugabe’s most consistent critics since she ditched the former liberation movement, told the Daily News on Sunday at the weekend that it had become clear that someone high up was desperate to stop her criticising Mugabe and talking about some of the things she knew about the ruling party.
But she vowed that nothing would ever cause her not to stand by her principles and the truth, adding that she would continue to contribute to the democratisation of the country, including through narrating and dissecting the history and character of Mugabe, even if this did not please some bigwigs.
Dongo also challenged her ex-colleagues in Zanu PF to “man up” and deal with the nonagenarian’s continuing misrule.
“Warning shots have been fired at me. Someone called and said we know what you are saying is true, but the situation is not right at the moment,” the former intelligence officer said.
“Another message was also delivered through my letter box and stressed that I should be careful. When I read it, I said I have no security and I cannot afford it,” she said.
“I said my security is God and that He has been my bodyguard throughout my life, and thus He remains my bodyguard even today,” Dongo said in the interview.
But despite the sustained threats, the former legislator – who was very close to Mugabe’s much-adored late wife, Sally – vowed to continue revealing pertinent issues about the true character of Mugabe.
Just last week, Dongo told the Daily News on Sunday’s sister paper, the Daily News, that Vice President Joice Mujuru was paying the price for her late husband Solomon’s sins – a man she said Mugabe “feared”.
She also said some top Zanu PF officials were abusing the former schoolteacher in his old age, as they manipulated their way to power, including through the contrived besmirching of the hapless VP’s name.
Vowing to continue speaking for what was right, as well as all the downtrodden and her former comrades who were trapped in fear, Dongo said “my mission is to make sure that people of Zimbabwe all realise the fruits of our struggle”.
She regretted the fact that when Mugabe allegedly abused former Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo at Thursday’s tense politburo meeting in Harare, not one of the embattled former Agriculture minister’s peers jumped to his defence, with some senior officials embarrassingly revealing to the Daily News that “the president cannot be opposed”.
Dongo, who says she was mentored into politics by Sally, said she felt compelled to comment on critical national matters and the problems bedevilling Zanu PF because there was no one left “with the guts to challenge” Mugabe.
“I draw my energy, courage and confidence from my mentor Sally whom I shook hands with on the last day of her life. She said life is going to be tough, but be strong. Take care of the struggle – the name she gave to my last born son.
“She held my hand tired, and I shed tears. When the nurse tried to remove me from her bedside she (Sally) refused,” Dongo recalled sorrowfully.
“I have nothing I owe to anyone, not even a farm. I applied seven times for one and I was turned down. I received no tractor from anyone. I got nothing and therefore I am free and an independent cadre, and no one can hold me at ransom,” she continued.
Sally, nee Sarah Francesca Hayfron, who was from Ghana, died on January 21, 1992. She was widely respected and regarded as both a unifier and motherly figure within Zanu PF and the entire country.
Mugabe and First Lady Grace bore their first child, Bona, while Sally was still alive, but ailing, and Grace was working as a typist in the President’s Office.