IT was a stern Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Minister of State Security, who looked at Ken Flower in the eye and told him that Robert Mugabe, “the Prime Minister wishes you to know that the Commissioner of Police has reported to him that you have been spending much of your time recently trying to murder him”.
Ken Flower did not deny the allegations, feigning fear; he all but confessed and asked whether he was supposed to defend himself or justify the murderous intentions before the PM. A dramatically quivering spy boss disclosed that even men of the Special Branch of the police that the Commissioner led were part of the bloody plot. After confiding that the Prime Minister intended to do nothing about the allegations, Mnangagwa loudly wondered why whites and fellow Rhodies would so readily sell each other out like that.
A week after this tense and tricky meeting of the 25th of May 1980, Robert Mugabe and Ken Flower met eye ball to eye ball. Chuckling, Mugabe assured Flower that the Police Commissioner was a simple police informer who was not to be taken seriously. What Mugabe did not tell Ken Flower was that he had thanked the Commissioner of Police for the valuable intelligence and promised to act on it in his own way. Mugabe laughed away Ken Flower’s intentions to confess details about the plans to kill him. Bigger things were at issue.
From Ken Flower, Robert Mugabe asked for a special relationship that would allow the two of them to work generally but also do some work in interpersonal confidence, where Flower could convey some information directly to Mugabe not via the Minister of State Security. Ken Flower was the Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation a position he held from the formation of the organisation in 1963.
Allum Peter Kevin, the snitching Commissioner of the police, was a relic of the Rhodesian security apparatus too. Not only these two Rhodesian securocrats were retained by the Robert Mugabe regime; a multiplicity of middle and lower rank spies, police and some soldiers were also kept; apparently to maintain standards and secure professionalism in the force.
Rhodie securocrats: Air Marshal Archie Wilson; head of the CIO, Ken Flower; Air Vice Marshal
Mick McLaren; Army Commander Lt-Gen Keith Coster; and Police Commissioner James Spink