Paranoia in The Presidential Corridors

The cup that Morgan Tsvangirai drinks tea from, as well as the tea bags and sugar, are brought into his office by his own secretary everyday. When he is done with the cup, it is the secretary who washes it up herself and puts it back into her handbag.

At meetings, sources in the Prime Minister's office says he routinely and randomly exchanges cups with other people attending the meeting or simply refuses to have any.

The Prime Minister's car, although serviced by the Government Garages, CMED, is sent for a second opinion at a leading car company in Harare the moment it comes back.

The Prime Minister has indeed been given a CIO escort from the Mugabe government, the ones who were in the car in front of his 4x4 when it was hit by the death truck from USAID. But, his head of security is still the same man he had when he was still in opposition.

It is he, the head of security, who routinely changes the routes of the Prime Minister's cavalcade. Trips out of town are only truly revealed as they get into the cars to leave the house. There is also the matter of the additional security the Prime Minister has, from his own party days, who are being rejected for government service and having their training delayed in order to keep them away from Tsvangirai.

The issue of State House was not out of any altruistic motive. It was a practical security consideration. After all, this House is right next door to some of the most elite fighting men Zimbabwe has, at the King George VI Barracks.

It is but a short hop and skip from there to the dining rooms of State House. And with the army brass behaving the way they are behaving, it was not considered wise to move the Prime Minister into the Lion's Den like that.

And another thing, I don't know why The Independent yesterday claimed that Mugabe also lives on the other side of the road, at Zimbabwe House.

He does not. And he hasn't lived there for years. The dictator commutes daily from Helensvale, where he now lives in that notorious "Gracelands" House, a sprawling palace with a Blue Chinese Roof (for good luck, the Chinese say).

Mugabe does not like Munhumutapa Building, the Presidential Office Complex, so much. It is said, with the deterioration in the mood of urbanites, especially, his security also thought it an easy target and hard to completely secure.

Hence, you will notice that all of Mugabe's publicised meetings take place at Zimbabwe House. He uses that as an office now, having moved out all of his private property to Helensvale.

So, yes, Tsvangirai did a wise thing in refusing to take the State House, but the motive force is more security than concern.

So it appears there is paranoia in the Presidential Corridors of Munhumutapa Building. Hope it does not go too far, else we will find people running away from their own shadows before long.


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