POLICE yesterday confirmed they were investigating another suspected break-in at Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa‘s Justice ministry offices, the seventh such incident since 2013, yet no suspect has been arrested.
“An official report was received from VP Mnangagwa’s office to the effect that they had observed some abnormalities when they reported for work in the office of the Vice-President,” police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said.
“Following that report, a team comprising the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other security sister organisations visited the crime scene and they made an analysis and they observed that there were no visible disturbances in the office, but there was a hole in the ceiling on the western side of the office and some fallen ceiling panel chips on the carpet directly below that hole.”
Charamba seemed to suggest that reports of a break-in were not accurate and, instead, a hole in the ceiling was not caused by drilling by an intruder, but rather by dripping water from a leaking roof.
“So they conducted some investigations as a team. They also summoned the police forensic science expert and the director in the Ministry of Local Government,” she said.
“They examined the carpet area and so far, initial investigations indicate that there was no evidence of drilling and the hole appears to have been perforated by dripping water.
“There was a roof bolt directly above the hole. The ceiling panel in question is adjacent to the previous panel from the January 13 incident.
“So far, primarily, the findings indicate that there were no signs of forced entry into the VP’s office through the door, window or ceiling. However, investigations are still going on.”
The suspected break-in, which could be the seventh in three years, comes at a time Mnangagwa is locked in a vicious succession war with a rival Zanu PF faction that is opposed to him taking over from President Robert Mugabe.
The latest incident comes less than two months after unidentified burglars broke into Mnangagwa’s offices while he was Acting President.
Mnangagwa is currently outside the country on government business.
Ministry of Justice permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza was also not available for comment on the matter.
In 2014, the same office was broken into by unknown persons, and again, shortly before Mnangagwa was appointed Vice-President.
It was alleged his party office was sprinkled with cyanide, leaving his private secretary battling for life.
Police findings on the two cases were never made public.