Zimbabwe: the night the tanks rumbled in

Ministers took cover as army moved to topple Mugabe

19 November 2017 - 00:00 By MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA and RAY NDLOVU

President Robert Mugabe's most trusted lieutenant and head of security was the first to face the wrath of the military takeover on Tuesday night.
Albert Ngulube, the Central Intelligence Organisation director of security, left Mugabe's palatial mansion in Borrowdale, an upmarket suburb in Harare, after briefing his boss, and ws driving to his office when he noticed a car following him. It cornered him and a group of soldiers appeared from nowhere.
The Sunday Times has learnt that Ngulube, who was on the army's list of 20 people to be seized that night as part of its operation, was pulled out of his car at around 10.30pm.
He managed to call his wife when he was thrown into one of the tanks before his phone was confiscated.Another source said that Moyo had received a tip-off on Tuesday from an army colonel that his house would be raided early on Wednesday.
Moyo is said to have contacted local government minister Savior Kasukuwere, another member of the G40. "Moyo asked Kasukuwere if he and his family could come and hide in the finance minister's 52-room mansion believed to have a bunker."
The army raided Moyo's house and roughed up a gardener after soldiers could not find their target.
Soldiers proceeded to Kasukuwere's residence and arrived there at 2.30am.
"They shot their way into the residence. They were just shooting at the house, windows and doors. They did not enter the house. The assault was heavy and sustained," another source said.
"Some 20 minutes after the guns went silent, the two families sneaked out and allegedly [sought] ... refuge at Mugabe's private residence," the source added.
A raid at finance minister Ignatius Chombo's house turned deadly as soldiers were confronted by well-armed private guards, believed to be from Israel, and there was a fierce gun battle, with one of the guards reportedly killed.
Chombo was seized, assaulted and taken to one of the army barracks.

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