Grace Mugabe ally and former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo says he and his family escaped an attack by soldiers as they sheltered at the home of a colleague on the night of the military takeover in Zimbabwe.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC’s Hardtalk programme, Moyo denied earlier reports that he took shelter, together with cabinet colleague Saviour Kasukuwere, at the home of former president Robert Mugabe.
“There were 11 of us at (Kasukuwere’s) residence when the residence was attacked,” Moyo said.
“They (soldiers) subjected it to some 15 minutes of gunfire and amazingly after those 15 minutes… the sounds of gunfire just went silent and we waited there for something like 10 minutes and there was no movement or sign of the special forces… and we then managed to get out of the house and we were amazed they were no longer there,” he added.
Watch the video below as Moyo speaks during the interview
Moyo and Kasukuwere were leading figures of the G40 faction that was promoting Grace Mugabe to take over from her husband until he was ousted during the November 15 military takeover and replaced with Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Moyo said he later slipped out of the country legally with the help of “angels”.
“I left Zimbabwe with the help of people who to me are angels because they saved lives,” Moyo said. “I escaped the net of the military people to be where I am legally.”
It’s unclear where Moyo is at the moment. The BBC interview was done via a television link from an undisclosed location.
Moyo claimed that Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the former army commander who led the November takeover, were now the most feared men in Zimbabwe.
“They have come into power via the bullet not the ballot,” Moyo charged, adding that Zimbabweans “cannot be expected to embrace the most feared individuals”.
Mnangagwa is the Zanu-PF candidate for president in elections this year. As the most powerful of his two deputies, Chiwenga is widely considered to be Mnangagwa’s likely successor.
Asked whether he would spend the rest of his life on the run, Moyo said he was not a fugitive because he left Zimbabwe legally and there was no warrant of arrest against him at the time.
“I ran away from a death warrant – an unlawful attack on my house,” Moyo said. He said the only charges against him were “political” and that these wouldn’t be of interest to Interpol, the global police agency.