Former Minister Survives Assasination Attempt
17 September 2021

By A Correspondent- Aspiring Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson and former Education Minister Lazarus Dokora, Monday survived an assassination attempt in Bindura amid suspicions he may have been targeted by internal party rivals as the race for the influential post intensifies.

Dokora reported the attempt on his life at the Bindura Central police station.

It is alleged the hit-men used claw hammers to smash the former minister’s vehicle before they abandoned the mission after realising he was not in the car.

Dokora is challenging Home Affairs minister and current provincial chair, Kazembe Kazembe.

Although Dokora declined to comment on the matter when contacted by NewZimbabwe Thursday evening, a source close to him said the attempt on the former minister’s life was a sign colleagues in Zanu PF’s Mashonaland Central were determined to “eliminate” him before the provincial elections are held after he emerged as a clear front runner.

The provincial elections are slated for next month before Zanu PF holds its annual people’s congress also in October in Bindura.

“There was an attempt on Dokora’s life on Monday in Bindura. He parked his vehicle and got out. The assailants came and smashed his door with an intention of killing him with claw hammers,” the source said.

“However, unbeknown to them, he had left, but this actually shows there are people who want to eliminate him ahead of the internal elections set for next month.”

Dokora’s ally, Ryan Dhokwani, said he has also faced a similar manner in Madziva, Mashonaland Central. He reported the matter to the police.

Dhokwani confirmed to NewZimbabwe Thursday he was forced to withdraw the case from the police after realising his assailants were Zanu PF members, and an out-of-court settlement was reached.

“A large rock was thrown at my car while I was in Madziva some time back. The people who attacked me knew exactly where I sat in my car as I am always driven,” Dhokwani said.

“The rock missed my glass and hit the door. If it had hit the window, it would have been a different story. I reported the matter to the police at Madziva but eventually withdrew the case after realising the assailants were members of the party.

“I cannot with full confidence say this was because of the upcoming elections but this is what happened to me and my car was indeed damaged.”

The NewZimbabwe source said the attacks on Dokora and Dhokwani were coordinated and there were strong fears in the party, the internal fights would escalate once the Politburo allowed campaigning for posts to start.

Campaigns ahead of Zanu PF’s restructuring process were suspended after internal fissures, in most provinces, rose as party faithful jostled for posts.

However, Kazembe and Energy Minister Zhemu Soda have defied the Politburo order and continue campaigning. Soda is backing Kazembe to be re-elected for the second term.

Added the source: “Kazembe and Soda gathered dozens of farmers in the province Thursday under the pretext they were preparing for the winter wheat harvest but it was clear they were campaigning for the coming provincial elections.

“Winter wheat farming is far from their duties as ministers and Kazembe is using his power as Home Affairs Minister to campaign and even harass opponents as what happened when (James) Makamba was arrested recently.”

Makamba was arrested last May on charges of breaking Covid-19 regulations. He had gathered his family and friends to celebrate his welcome from self-exile in neighbouring South Africa.

Soda said could not comment as he was busy while efforts to get a comment from Kazembe were unsuccessful.

Dokora was appointed Education minister by then-President Robert Mugabe before he was dropped by his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December 2018.

His sacking came amid strong criticism from Zimbabweans on social media platforms and public media blaming him for poor performance and undermining the country’s education system.