HARARE – A self-confessed hit man who testified to the police alleging a senior government official issued him an assassination order to take out former Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi has been arrested.
Munyaradzi Mupazviripo — who had claimed in a police report lodged at Borrowdale Police Station that Tourism and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary Bradah Maunganidze had told him he would receive a $50 000 cash payment for executing Mzembi — was arrested and charged with filing a false police report against Lands and Agriculture deputy minister Davis Marapira in a separate case.
Mupazviripo is alleged to have filed a report against the deputy minister alleging he threatened to shoot him with a gun at his offices when he went there to inquire about the consummation of an offer letter for a farm he had applied for.
Mupazviripo reportedly wanted to see Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri to protest against a demand for a $900 bribe by one of the ministry’s rank-and-file officials to get his offer letter stamped. He claims he could not see Shiri and was then referred to Marapira, who he claims threatened to shoot him alleging he was a loose cannon.
Mupazviripo has retained counsel, leading Harare lawyer Admire Rubaya.
Those who managed to see him yesterday claimed he had been beaten up for allegedly leaking classified information to the media and attempting to soil the image of government as well as scuttling re-engagement efforts. He reportedly told his visitors in police cells that he was infact arrested for leaking top secret information to a news organisation and also alleges he was accused of being a member of the G40 Zanu PF faction that was backing former first lady Grace Mugabe. The Daily News could not independently verify this information.
Rubaya had promised to give us a full account of the arrest details, but did not manage to do so right up to the time of going to print as he said he was tied up with the case.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba told the Daily News last night: “He was arrested by homicide for lodging a false report. He is going to court tomorrow (today).”
In his damning report filed at the Borrowdale Police Station on January 24, Mupazviripo provided granular details of how Maunganidze allegedly gave him instructions in May 2015 to carry out the extra-judicial killing.
Maunganidze has dismissed the allegations as lies.
The hit man said he has now been targeted for disobeying the order and was living in fear of being murdered. In his raw account in the docket, he said his refusal to carry out the assignment means he was as good as dead.
In an interview with the Daily News days before the arrest, Mupazviripo said he had conducted many covert operations, notably in the areas of propaganda and psychological warfare.
He said in his last mission, he was assigned as an agent to infiltrate and monitor the State broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. – Daily News