A man was shot dead during a break-in at the Harare home of Central Intelligence Organisation deputy director Gatsha Mazithulela.
The incident took place at around 2AM on Thursday at Mazithulela’s Crichton Road residence in the Groombridge area of Mt Pleasant.
The former National University of Science and Technology vice chancellor, who was appointed to the role in January 2020, was unharmed in the incident.
Neighbours said they woke up to the sound of gunfire, and before long the Mazithulela residence was swarming with police and security agents from various departments.
“I heard there could have been three people who tried to jump over a perimeter wall, and one was shot dead,” one neighbour said.
“An ambulance arrived at around 3AM but the person didn’t make it.
“Everyone around here seems to think the intruders were robbers because just hours before, there was an attempted break-in at a house on Maxwell Road nearby.”
Insiders said police are keeping an open mind, their concerns heightened after the Central Intelligence Organisation’s training college in Hatfield caught fire in a suspected arson attack just before 3PM on Thursday.
Investigators would be trying to establish if the two incidents are related.
Mazithulela also teaches at the college.
Mazithulela said: “Sorry, I don’t talk to the media.”
National police spokesman Paul Nyathi said he did not have full details.
“Call me tomorrow,” he said.
This is not the first security incident at the home of Mazithulela.
In November 2020, just months after his appointment, a CIO agent guarding his Matabeleland North farm drunkenly pointed a gun him.
Mazithulela was leaving his farm in Norwood in Umguza at about 7PM on November 28 when he observed Earnest Muleya, who was on guard duties at the property, staggering.
Suspecting the 38-year-old was drunk, Mazithulela demanded that Muleya hands over his AK-47 assault rifle which he was carrying.
Instead of handing over the rifle, Muleya cocked it and pointed it at Mazithulela who ran and took cover behind his vehicle before making a dash for his house where he barricaded himself inside.
Mazithulela called the CIO’s regional headquarters at Magnet House in Bulawayo and agents were dispatched to the farm where they disarmed and arrested Muleya.