by UK Bureau & Harare Correspondent
TERTIARY education minister Jonathan Moyo’s family was left traumatised Thursday after his Harare home was again raided “soldiers”, as news emerged of missing finance minister Ignatius Chombo.
A relative of local government minister and Moyo ally, Saviour Kasukuwere, also revealed that his palatial home in the capital had been ransacked by unknown individuals on the same day.
The raids could not be verified with the police which has apparently been off-duty since last Wednesday’s coup that toppled ex-president Robert Mugabe from power.
However, successor-designate Emmerson Mnangagwa immediately issued a statement urging Zimbabweans to desist from “any form of hostile reprisals” and suggesting that criminal elements were likely taking advantage of the yet-to-stabilise political situation in the country.
Chombo, Moyo and Kasukuwere were among the Mugabe loyalists reportedly targeted by the military after it took to the streets last week and placed the veteran leader under house arrest.
The finance minister was said to have been detained after a firefight at his Harare home while the residences of Moyo and Kasukuwere were left with smashed windows and doors, the walls riddled with bullets.
Moyo and Kasukuwere reportedly managed to evade capture, and sought refuge at Mugabe’s private Harare home. Their present whereabouts remain unclear.
However, Human Rights Watch Southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga claimed on Twitter Thursday that the military had handed Chombo over to the police.
Handed over to the police … Finance minister Ignatius Chombo
“Soldiers tonight dropped off minister Chombo at his house after days of military detention. Law and order police then arrested him and said they were taking him to Rhodes Police Station (in Harare),” tweeted Mavhinga.
Meanwhile a member of Moyo’s family revealed they had suffered another horrendous visitation from the military.
“Our house was brutally attacked by soldiers today. They destroyed the new gate that had replaced the one they destroyed with semi-automatic weapons on the night of the coup,” said the family member.
“They also destroyed doors that had been repaired after they were riddled with bullets on the night of the coup. They ransacked all the rooms in the house, smashed the CCTV system and looted the house.
“Outside they damaged cars, including official government vehicles. As a result, Mrs Moyo and the kids have become traumatised beyond description as this has come hardly a week after the deadly semi-automatic weapons attack on the home by the Army’s SAS forces.
“Unlike the first attack which was done at 2:30am, today’s destruction was done in broad daylight. Mrs Moyo is from Kenya and holds a Kenyan passport.”
The attack could not be verified with the police who have effectively been dysfunctional since the coup last week.
However, president designate Mnangagwa appealed for peace and calm.
“We are currently working on transitional arrangements which will lead to the dispensation which is to unfold tomorrow (Friday),” his office said in a statement.
“While this is going on, I implore all Zimbabweans to remain patient and peaceful and desist from any form of vengeful retribution. It is not in the spirit of ubuntu/unhu which characterises the nature of our people.
“Let us not, therefore, allow criminal elements bent on destabilising the peace and tranquillity prevailing in our country, by either settling political or social scores outside the ambit of the law.
“We are all Zimbabweans and let us be exemplary as we work towards consolidation of our unity and the prosperity of our nation”