Home » General » CIO Operatives Looking for Mugabe Debt Reporter?

THE fallout over a report by a local daily revealing President Robert Mugabe’s debt to an expelled senior Zanu PF official continued at the weekend amid claims overzealous CIO operatives were keen to have a word with the writer of the story.

Newsday reporter, Richard Chidza, has been linked to the article which claimed Mugabe owes former Mashonaland East Zanu PF provincial leader Ray Kaukonde $30 million dollars which he has neglected to repay.

The scribe’s family is now concerned for his safety, especially after Mugabe critic and former journalist Itai Dzamara was abducted in Harare three months ago and has not been seen or heard from since.

A known CIO operative in Harare was said to be looking for Chidza at the weekend.

Mugabe is alleged to have opened up about the debt to the “Zanu PF top four”, comprising vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and national commissar Saviour Kasukuwere in a brief meeting before the ruling party’s politburo gathering last week.

The president was said to have indicated that the expelled businessman and former governor might sue him.

Chidza, meanwhile, confided in colleagues last Friday that his family is concerned for his safety after state media reports claimed he had authored the article.

“It has been a trying time for him,” said a colleague in Harare.

“Given the fact that the so-called source of the report Zanu PF activist Goodson Nguni has publicly denied leaking the story, zealots in the CIO have turned their attention on Chidza.

“They want to squeeze out the source of the story from him by whatever means.

“A known intelligence official who goes by the name Reason Mpofu has been sniffing around and asking questions about Chidza’s whereabouts.”

Chidza was not available for comment and has previously declined to speak on the subject.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo also appeared to be agitating for the arrest of those linked to the story which has angered the establishment and exacerbated the internal fights for succession within the ruling party.

Moyo, in a statement last week, threatened action against Newsday saying the publication was “petulantly persistent in unprofessionally and unethically seeking to incite public disaffection against President Mugabe by publishing blatant falsehoods”.

“The unrelenting onslaught must stop and if those responsible for NewsDay are incapable of discharging their professional and ethical responsibilities, then the law will assist them,” the minister warned.

Mugabe has, thus far, remained mum while Kaukonde has hardly uttered a word since his expulsion from Zanu PF.

Mugabe’s wife First Lady Grace let the cat out of the bag last year during her meet the people tour when she had a public altercation with Kaukonde and indicated the First Family had borrowed $20 million to fund their farming activities in Mazowe.

Source : New Zimbabwe