Zimbabwe police have confirmed that seven armed men attacked the house of powerful Retired Army General and former ZANU PF. The attack is seen as an attempted assassination linked to factional fighting between powerful figures in the party.
Rugeje has been linked to a faction led by General Chiwenga, the powerful Vice President, who led the bloodless coup that toppled the late Robert Mugabe, leading to his succession by current President, ED Mnangagwa.
According to a Zimbabwe Republic Police statement:
An attempted robbery occurred at house number 6 Cheshire Mt Pleasent res to Rt Major General Rugeje on 11 October 2020 at around 03:00. Circumstances are that 7 BMA entered the premises by jumping the durawall and started firing a pistol. The sentry returned fire by firing three shots, hence alerting the other sentries who fired 14 rounds resulting in the death of the other robber. At around 4am and 5am, a perimeter search was conducted and a cloths with a ZANU-PF card was recovered as well as the dead body.
Pictures circulatin on social Media show the ZANU-PF card and body said to be that of Kudakwashe Mupedzazvose.
However, it is not clear from police statements how they established that there were seven attackers and whether any arrests were made.
Who is Retired Major General Engelbert Rugeje
Rugeje was fired from his position as ZANU PF political commissar by ED Mnangagwa in June 2019. He is a former chief of staff for the Zimbabwe National Army.
1990 – Rugeje promoted to brigadier general ( Quartermaster)
1995 – Deployed to the DRC leading the counter insurgency missions.
2000 – Major General ( 4th in Command in the ZDF)
Lancaster University – Master of Defense and Strategic Studies degree
Lancaster University – Master of Laws degree.
Havard University – Master Of Business Administration
Demands For Mnangagwa To Step Down
Early this year, spotlight Zimbabwe reported that powerful military Generals had reached a deal with Mnangagwa to step down. However, Mnangagwa reportedly refused to step down before the 31 July demonstrations, which were widely believed to be organised by a faction aligned to General Chiwenga.
Mnangagwa is said to have angrily confronted General Chiwenga over the plot to remove him and a number of politburo members were disciplined over fliers linked to the demonstrations.
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