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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe beefed up his security at the Zanu PF congress following alleged plots to assassinate him. Security was tight at the congress which ended on Saturday with delegates, guests and journalists subjected to thorough searches at three different check points before entering the main tent at the venue for the event.

Observations in the last four days revealed that Mugabe was taking the alleged threats to his life seriously. At the last politburo meeting on Tuesday, Mugabe did not allow politburo members to enter the meeting with their mobile phones. The number of his body guards at the meeting were increased.

President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace at the Zanu PF 6th congress.

“We were told to leave our mobile phones at the reception,” said a politburo member. The following day Mugabe addressed the central committee where the same security measures were employed.

Before Mugabe arrived for the central committee meeting at the Zanu PF headquarters, members were subjected to thorough searches by security details with sniffer dogs. A few minutes before he attended the meeting Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa also conducted a final security search of the entire conference centre.

Mugabe was accompanied by more than 15 security details into the venue. The presidential guard which normally monitors the situation outside the venue were this time around also inside the conference venue.

During the official opening of the Zanu PF congress on Thursday, security details swarmed the venue at the Harare Civic Centre grounds which has been christened Robert Mugabe Square.

Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Happison Bonyongwe was the first to do a thorough scrutiny of the top table.

Bonyongwe checked the whole surrounding of the top table in the presence of the delegates who had already packed the venue.

A few minutes later Mnangagwa repeated the security check.

“Mnangagwa has taken over the security of Mugabe,” said a government official.

Emmerson Mnangagwa talks to Patrick Zhuwawo

Since allegations of assassination attempts “the Kabila-style” Mugabe has become suspicious of his party members.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Nicholas Goche, Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo have been accused of plotting to eliminate Mugabe but no concrete evidence has been produced. The implicated Zanu PF officials have all vehemently denied allegations of plotting to unconstitutionally unseat Mugabe.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard