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By Clemence Manyukwe

THIEVES have once again targeted President Robert Mugabe – this time hitting his wardrobe at State House and making off with an undisclosed number of designer suits worth millions of dollars.

It is suspected that the theft was an inside job by employees at the heavily guarded State residence.

Only two months ago, the President lost irrigation equipment worth millions to as yet unidentified thieves at his rural homestead in Zvimba communal lands, Mashonaland West.

A senior spokesperson in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) public relations office, Lloyd Mukoterwa, yesterday confirmed the theft, but referred further questions to police spokesperson, Wayne Bvudzijena.

Mukoterwa said: “This story is bad. Even if we know something, we cannot tell you. Why don’t you challenge Bvudzijena to tell you? You are a journalist, you must know that the police are the ones who provide those details.

“Police must tell you because even if it is a soldier who happened to be the one who stole, they can arrest him. But first you must understand who guards where,” said Mukoterwa.

However, Bvudzijena refused to comment. In an earlier interview, following the theft of the irrigation equipment, Bvudzijena said he did not comment on Presidential matters and referred all questions to the Department of Information and Publicity in the Office of the President and Cabinet.

“ I do not have a comment,” Bvudzijena said.

The secretary for Information and Publicity, George Charamba, also refused to comment.

“I don’t want to talk to you. After what your paper wrote about me, do you expect me to talk to you?” Charamba said. He was referring to a commitment that he made to furnish this newspaper with details of the Zvimba theft, but on which he later backtracked.

According to sources, the theft at State House, which took place towards the end of last month, was discovered by the President’s housekeepers. The incident is said to have angered the President, who demanded an inquiry into the matter. Some security personnel who were on guard duty that day were reportedly transferred.

It could not be established if any culprits had been brought to book as yet.
Said a source: “The suits were stolen by people who are believed to be employed at State House. There is tight security at State House, and the only logical explanation is that it must be someone who is trusted, and could not be searched. But I must tell you that this has come to be an issue of considerable concern."

Over the years, President Mugabe has been a victim of theft at both his official residence in Harare and his Zvimba rural home.
Daily Mirror
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