ZIMBABWE’S Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has suspended 15 of his state security aides for allegedly compromising his security during last week’s visit by South African President Jacob Zuma.
Tsvangirai, who became premier in February, was given government security personnel who prior to the formation of the transitional government were publicly known to be loyal to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
But sources close to Tsvangirai disclosed this week that the security aides were suspended last Saturday after botching the former opposition leader’s security at a dinner hosted by Mugabe for Zuma at State House last Thursday.
The sources said the suspensions followed a series of blunders which seriously compromised Tsvangirai’s security.
There was also suspicion that the aides were not committed to guarding Tsvangirai and that they were taking orders compromising his security from certain quarters in government.
Informed sources said things came to a head last Thursday when some of Tsvangirai’s senior security aides ordered the removal of one of the vehicles in his convoy from State House on the grounds that the dinner was hosted for Zuma by Mugabe.
“The security agents ordered one of the Toyota Prados out of State House and yet it carries the prime minister’s close security team. The prime minister’s security would have been compromised by such an act,” said the sources.
The sources said some members of Tsvangirai’s security team who belong to his MDC party vigorously stood their ground in resisting the orders.
James Maridadi, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, could not be drawn to confirm the incident when reached for comment.
Last week’s incident is the second inside four months after Tsvangirai was in May forced to make a U-turn when state security agents denied one of the cars in his entourage entry into State House for a dinner hosted for a North Korean delegation.
In April state security agents manning Tsvangirai’s offices at Munhumutapa Building blocked National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leaders from meeting Tsvangirai at his new offices.
It took the intervention of Tsvangirai’s deputy Thokozani Khupe for the NCA delegation to be allowed entry.
By Kumbirai Mafunda