Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was sent a parcel bomb in February 2004 but apparently he was out of the country at the time and the parcel bomb which was received by his secretary was defused by the police.
According to a cable released by Wikileaks the incident was not reported publicly.
At the time Chinamasa had voiced concern about the security of his position especially because of the level of the President’s confidence in him.
He had also reportedly received threats from senior party officials during his tenure as attorney general years ago in connection with prosecutions he had considered pursuing against party members.
Embassy officials commented that with the recent arrests of party stalwarts Philip Chiyangwa and James Makamba, fear and loathing within the ruling party was on the upswing and Chinamasa was probably not alone in his professional anxiety.
Viewing cable 04HARARE314, BOMB REPORTEDLY DEFUSED AT JUSTICE MINISTER’S
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
231344Z Feb 04
C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000314
AF/S FOR SDELISI, LAROIAN, MRAYNOR
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER, DTEITELBAUM
LONDON FOR CGURNEY
PARIS FOR CNEARY
NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2009
SUBJECT: BOMB REPORTEDLY DEFUSED AT JUSTICE MINISTER’S
Classified By: Political Officer Win Dayton under Section 1.5(b)(d)
¶1. (C) An Embassy FSN whose family is close to the family of
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa reported on February 22
that, according to Chinamasa’s secretary, an unidentified
woman delivered a suspicious package to the Minister’s office
last week. In the course of opening the package, the
secretary discovered that it contained an apparent bomb and
summoned the police. A police bomb squad removed that
package and reportedly defused it. Chinamasa was visiting
Zambia at the time and the incident has not been reported
publicly. The FSN, whose family sees Chinamasa regularly,
noted that he had increasingly been voicing concern about the
security of his position and the level of the President’s
confidence in him in recent months. He reportedly had
received threats from senior party officials during his
tenure as attorney general years ago in connection with
prosecutions he had considered pursuing against party
members, but was not known to have received threats of late.
¶2. (C) COMMENT: With the recent arrests of party stalwarts
Philip Chiyangwa and James Makamba, fear and loathing within
the ruling party is on the upswing and Chinamasa is probably
not alone in his professional anxiety. Word of this latest
development will likely fuel paranoia and paralysis within
the party. It is unclear how the purported attack could
affect Chinamasa’s enthusiasm as ruling party point person in
interparty talks on talks.
¶3. (C) COMMENT (CONT’D): There are no obvious suspects or
motives for sending the bomb, and Chinamasa seems an unlikely
target. Often identified as a hard-liner for his
orchestration of the ruling party’s legislative strategies
and legal campaign against the MDC and its members, the
Justice Minister is probably more of a pragmatic careerist.
He lacks a meaningful popular constituency and does not pose
an overt political threat to those within the party. He is
one of the more austere cabinet ministers, generally
eschewing the business empire-building of many in favor of
politicking and farming on his farm(s), at least one of which
predated fast track land reform. Aggressive and
publicity-seeking earlier in his tenure as Justice Minister,
Chinamasa has kept a relatively low profile during the last