By A Correspondent | The police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, has dismissed revelations that ZANU PF youths tried to assassinate former ZANU PF commissar, Lt-General Engelbert Rugeje at his house on Sunday morning.
“These were purely criminals,” said Nyathi. He continued saying: “There was an exchange of gunfire that left one person dead at Lt-General Engelbert Rugeje’s (Rtd) residence in Mt Pleasant, Harare, involving security personnel and seven suspected criminals in the morning.
“More information will be released soon as police are still carrying out investigations,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
The most powerful post coup military politician, only next to the Presidium, Rugeje, confirmed the incident following the gun attack at his Mt Pleasant house.
Armed intruders were “repelled” by soldiers and one intruder was shot dead, when they tried to attack his house.
Speaking exclusively to ZimEye Gen Rugeje said, “I wasn’t there.”
He was asked if he knows what happened as well as details of possible injuries, and he said, “get the details from ZRP who attended the scene I wasn’t there.”
He was also asked if he has a clue of who is behind this and what their agenda is, and to this he replied with a long sigh and then said,
“I don’t have a clue when I was not there,”
Asked on his well being, how he feels, Gen Rugeje became non committal with responses.
His phone was hung up soon afterwards.
The development comes as Rugeje, who occupied the party’s most influential position, was rumoured to be next in line for disappearance or a car accident as has happened to many before him.
His immediate predecessor Saviour Kasukuwere fled Zimbabwe after his house was pounced on by skilled snipers.
Since independence 1980, every other political commissar has suffered either an assassination, or a humiliating ouster. The list of victims includes: