Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s ally, Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Minister Martin Dinha, has reportedly been left “shaken” after he received an envelope containing an AK47 bullet and a death threat message.
Zimbabwean media reported on Wednesday that the bullet parcel was delivered to the minister’s office on Monday morning.
Dinha confirmed the incident, the state-owned Herald newspaper said, adding that the matter had been reported to the police.
The message read: “Resign now or you die. You messed up with the wrong guys. [Elliot] Manyika, [Border] Gezi and Masawi are waiting for you.”
Manyika and Gezi were Zanu-PF political commissars who both died in mysterious car accidents.
This is not the first time that Dinha has been threatened.
“I am taking the threat seriously, given that there was an attempt on my life during the election period in 2013,” Dinha was quoted as saying, adding however, that he “won’t be intimidated”.
According to the Daily News, the incident indicated that battles within the ruling Zanu-PF party were intensifying, as hardliners angled to succeed Mugabe, 91.
The report said Dinha, who was once linked to ousted vice president Joice Mujuru, was now said to be close to the First Family – a development which has apparently displeased some hawks among Zanu-PF’s ambitious young members, who are known as the Generation 40 (G40) camp.
‘The biggest unknown’
Zanu-PF has long been faced with factional feuding over the successor to Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980.
News24 in May quoted a Zimbabwean political analyst Eldred Masunungure as saying that the battles to succeed the nonagenarian were “vicious” and were “going to carry on until the succession moment is done”.
Masunungure said at the time that the issue of succession was “the biggest unknown” in Zimbabwean politics.
“It will be a nasty period and that is why those who are strategically poised to succeed him are busy strategising for nomination when the time comes. This is why the struggles are vicious both in the public and private arena,” Masunungure said.