Tsvangirai fears Highlands home bugged

via Tsvangirai fears Highlands home bugged – DailyNews Live 16 August 2015

HARARE – Opposition  leader Morgan Tsvangirai fears his Highlands mansion has been bugged following last month’s raid by the assistant sheriff of the High Court and police officers in an attempt to seize property.

The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), never comments on operational intelligence matters.

The former prime minister told the Daily News on Sunday in an exclusive interview at his Harvest House offices on Friday that he feared police and the intelligence were eavesdropping on his conversations after allegedly installing recording devices in particular parts of the house.

The long-time opposition leader said the developments over the past few weeks were surprising and that he was looking to pay a specialist security firm to “sweep” for electronic recording devices after credible fears that his house had been compromised.

“We are checking on that,” Tsvangirai told the Daily News on Sunday, speaking on the alleged intrusive surveillance.

“There are various motives, some security; I have to make sure that the place is swept. I believe that there are some security breaches that took place.”

Tsvangirai said he was bringing the security company to check if there were any small video cameras and microphones installed.

An assistant sheriff of the Harare High Court backed by riot police swooped on the Tsvangirai family home in a mid-morning raid a fortnight ago.

Officers said the arrests were linked to the labour dispute Tsvangirai’s party had with 13 former MDC workers and the sheriff had also been instructed by High Court Judge Priscilla Chigumba to attach Tsvangirai’s second house in Harare’s Strathaven suburb.

Tsvangirai said he was surprised when the team insisted on proceeding to enter his home and attach property even after they had been shown a stay of seizure document showing that he was never part of any labour dispute with the former workers.

“What do you hire the riot police for? And the man, the deputy sheriff, refused to accept even the court judgment, the stay of execution. So why go all the way?

“Riot police have no right to accompany the assistant sheriff, as if there was any resistance,” the 63-year-old former trade unionist said.

“All I can conclude is that this was an attempt to humiliate me and what they would have wanted is for me to leave whatever I was doing to come and attend to it,” Tsvangirai said.

“And I knew that all this was just political hot air which had nothing to do with the law. And I cannot be responsible for the omissions of MDC. Although I am president, I know that we are very much legally-bound to settle some of our liabilities, we have to clear.”

He claimed the authorities used the case as a smokescreen to gain access to his house, bug it and also embarrass him.

“We had a labour dispute at the MDC, which has long been resolved,” Tsvangirai told the Daily News On Sunday.

“The people who took us to court had actually been paid. We have just established the fact that they had actually been paid.

“But in spite of that explanation, they found it necessary to bring on tow, riot police, media, CIO, all to come to my house. What was it?” Tsvangirai asked rhetorically.

“That’s why I say its mischief, it’s political. It’s mischief meant to humiliate me. Besides, on a matter of legal process, the fact that I am the president of the MDC does not mean that every employee employed (by the MDC) I am liable for them. The MDC is a persona on itself, so must be able to deal with its own assets and liabilities; it’s responsible for that.

Intelligence sources have spoken privately of a swathe of new security measures, including tighter monitoring of Zimbabweans’ communications and online activity.