Home of arrested Zimbabwe finance minister riddled with bullets
Ignatius Chombo, a close ally of Grace Mugabe, was taken at about 1am on Wednesday, with at least one of his guards reportedly killed
Pictures of Zimbabwe finance minister Ignatius Chombo’s bullet-riddled house have emerged‚ showing that his arrest was no simple affair.
It is understood that Chombo was taken captive from his Borrowdale home at about 1am on Wednesday after the Zimbabwean army’s televised announcement that it was taking control of the country.
"What we know is that there was an exchange of fire, and word is that one of his guards died on the spot. Those pictures were taken hours later‚" said an independent media journalist who first obtained the pictures.
A senior government official, who spoke to TimesLIVE, confirmed the pictures were of Chombo’s house. "That’s his official residence. He has many houses but chose to go to this one. He didn’t expect the blitz. No one did actually‚" the source said.
The pictures show an entry door blown open leading to the kitchen, which was also destroyed. The microwave was shattered and cabinets sprayed with what looks like bullets.
Chombo is a close ally of Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe as one of the key strategists of the Generation 40 faction, who are said to have been manoeuvring to take over from President Robert Mugabe. It is not clear where the army is holding him.
Chombo’s house is normally manned by no less than three guards provided by the state and it is said they tried to protect him.
Kudzai Chipanga‚ the Zanu-PF Youth League leader‚ who read a strongly worded response to the army’s initial statement‚ is also in custody.
On Wednesday, some roads in the city centre‚ such as Second Street leading to Parliament and the Munhumutapa government complex‚ were closed as the search for "criminal elements" continued.
Meanwhile, the South African government has confirmed that it has sent a delegation to Zimbabwe and Angola to facilitate talks in conjunction with the Southern African Development Community (SADC). President Jacob Zuma is the current chairman of the SADC.
The Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister‚ Adv Bongani Bongo are expected to travel to Zimbabwe to meet with Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force.
In a statement, the presidency said Zuma had spoken to Mugabe via telephone and Mugabe "indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine", adding that "the special envoys will also be sent to the Republic of Angola to see President João Lourenço‚ chairperson of the SADC Organ for Politics‚ Defence and Security to brief him on the situation".