via They want me dead: Minister – DailyNews Live 22 July 2015
HARARE – As the deadly factional and succession fights within President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF get nastier, minister of State for Mashonaland Central, Martin Dinha, confirmed to the Daily News last night that his political enemies wanted him dead — vowing, however, that he was neither going to resign nor stop supporting the nonagenarian.
Dinha received an AK47 bullet and a threatening message in the wee hours of Monday morning, telling him to step down or risk suffering the same fatal fate that befell the late Zanu PF political commissar, Elliot Manyika, who died in a suspicious car accident in 2008.
The story was exclusively carried by the Daily News yesterday.
The shaken lawyer-turned-politician, who referred to Mugabe as “my mentor and master” in the interview last night, was at pains to emphasise that he belonged to neither of Zanu PF’s major factions that are engaged in a mortal battle for control of the former liberation movement and the State — as they impatiently position themselves to succeed the nonagenarian.
“Yes, I can confirm that I received a bullet and I have reported the matter to police, and a CR07-20 has been opened at Bindura Central police station,” Dinha reluctantly opened up to the Daily News, after much cajoling.
Asked if he was not afraid of the repeated threats on his life, he said, “God has control over men and not some wicked individuals” — defiantly adding that he was not going to kowtow to “nefarious political messages”.
“Yes, I am totally shaken by the incident, as every human being would be. But at the same time I am not afraid. If God believes I am going to die from a man’s bullet so be it. I don’t want to be intimidated and I will not resign. I will serve my master and mentor without fear or any hesitation,” Dinha said.
Quizzed whether he suspected any of his opponents in Zanu PF to have dispatched Monday’s bullet to him, he chose to be circumspect, saying “in politics foes are many”.
“In the game of politics and power, suspects are galore and in the discharge of my mandate as minister of State I might threaten certain interests or displease certain people. I hope police will find the culprits and I am appealing to all members of the public to assist in apprehending the culprits.”
Probed further on why he was hanging on to his increasingly dangerous job, and putting not only his life but that of his family in danger as well, he said, “I am here to serve my President”.
“My wife is not around, but she heard about it and my children are worried about me. Your story and its front page coverage has caused anxiety, fear and despondence in the whole of my extended family. That is why I didn’t want to talk to you.
“But I am safe because I believe the security provided to me will deter any intended harm. I will live my life normally,” Dinha said.
He added that since last year he had experienced a number of unsettling incidents, including an attempted break-in at his offices in Bindura, and another one that was successful.
Asked if he belonged to any faction in Zanu PF, the former students’ union leader said he did not, adding that he would not be distracted from discharging his duties “by petty fights”.
“I have told you on countless times that I do not belong to any faction. If ever there are factions, my faction is Zanu PF and its only leader RG. Factionalism is counter revolutionary and a negation of the principles of progress and good leadership.
“I am an ardent, disciplined and devout supporter of Cde RG Mugabe, my principal and mentor. He is my hero. Amai Dr (Grace) Mugabe is a mother figure to me and my family. She is kind, honest and principled. We love her so much and follow her exemplary life. I am ready and prepared to defend my president and amai,” a fawning Dinha said.
In 2009 Dinha, escaped death by a whisker after three unidentified gunmen ambushed and shot at his vehicle on his way to Harare from Guruve, where he had gone to attend a function to commemorate The Day of the African Child.
And in 2013, Dinha was also almost run over by an off-road vehicle that was being driven by one Kozanai Chijokwe. Although he escaped death by a whisker, the incident forced him not to participate in party and legislative elections that year, as he feared that he could ruffle further feathers if he did so.
As a result, Dinha is a mere card-carrying member of Zanu PF, who insiders say is surviving its brutal fights solely on the benevolence of the First Family.
He also stands accused by some party officials of doing the dirty work for the Mugabes — who have carved for themselves a “small kingdom” in the fertile lands of Mazowe, in Mashonaland Central.
A senior Zanu PF official from Mashonaland Central claimed last night that there was a $20 000 bounty on Dinha’s head.
Well-placed Zanu PF sources told the Daily News on Monday that ‘the parcel’ with the bullet and threatening message which was delivered to the minister’s office carried “clear indications” that this was the work of hardliners angling to succeed Mugabe in the nonagenarian’s fast-imploding party.
Dinha was said to be very close to the First Family — which had apparently displeased some hawks among Zanu PF’s ambitious young Turks, who are known as the Generation 40 (G40) camp.
It is claimed that the G40 is not only impatient to take over from Mugabe and other ageing party bigwigs such as Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but also that they “desire sole and unfettered influence” over the nonagenarian’s influential wife, Grace — who insiders say will have a major say over who succeeds her husband.
It was Dinha who recently had the nasty job of chasing away poor villagers from Manzou Farm in Mazowe, allegedly to pave way for a game sanctuary for Grace — who already owns vast tracts of land in the area.
Another source close to the minister said last night that he was upping his own “private security” to augment the work of his State security aides “just to make sure that he will be okay”.