How Mugabe's men plan to sabotage Simba Makoni's bid for the Presidency
Zanu-PF's top operatives are wasting no time in setting out to destroy the Makoni campaign before it even gets off the ground. A high level security meeting was held on Wednesday, plans were formulated, and on Thursday a top secret Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) memo was sent out. As usual I was one of the first to see it.
It's a chilling document. It emanates from the office of the CIO director general Happyton Bonyongwe, it is coded DG/sm11, and it puts all national and provincial security operatives, spies, thugs and bullyboys on "condition red."
The memo describes Makoni as "too hot to handle", says that in challenging Zim1 (CIO code for Mugabe) he is posing a big security risk, and adds that the political atmosphere is charged up, and "citizens are restless and ready to vote out Zim 1."
This last is an extraordinary statement. Apparently the top CIO men believe Mugabe could lose. But they are also intent on making sure it doesn't happen, by all fair, and as you will see if you read on, by all foul means.
The memo essentially summarises the CIO's anti-Makoni plans. First, the document instructs: "Be advised to temporarily suspend all minor operations in your provinces for RDWK ahead."
"RDWK"? That was a new one on me. My CIO source who showed me the memo told me that, almost unbelievably, it stands for "Real dirty work." That certainly makes sense in the light of what follows.
"Assign your trusted operatives to ensure a tough ride for Makoni... Place Makoni, his financial backers and disgruntled civil servants who might support him under top 24 hour surveillance. Employ all RDWK strategies without restraint. Mobilise street kids in urban areas, hire them, then plant them at all Makoni's rallies to cause violence. The police will be on hand to arrest rioters. Those arrested will be detained in jails until after the elections."
"Without restraint" are the key words in the above paragraph. We know what that means. Intimidation, violence, beatings...
And for the first time in my experience this document gives written proof of how Zanu-PF uses food aid for its political ends. It reads: "In rural areas keep track on Non-Governmental Organisations when distributing relief food. Ensure that no non-card carrying Zanu-PF individual gets food. Feed villagers wth any tarnishing information on Makoni that you can think of."
There is more, too much to be contained in this space. It's all frightening. We know that Simba Makoni is a man of integrity and intelligence. We will soon find out if he is a man of courage. At least if he reads this - or some of his people read it - then he will know a little of what to expect in the coming weeks.
The elections take place on March 29. Not long to go. Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow citizens, to paraphrase an old Chinese curse, we live in interesting times.