Zimbabwe’s government says audio tape of first lady ‘was doctored’

Zimbabwe’s government spokesman Nick Mangwana says what appears to be a leaked audio tape of the country’s First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has been doctored, privately-owned newspaper Newsday reports.

The audio recording is of an alleged phone conversation between Mrs Mnangagwa and a top army commander, which suggests there are cracks in the relationship between the military and the first family.

But Mr Mangwana told Newsday that information he received was that there is a lot of “manipulation and simulation of the first lady’s voice”.

In the eight-minute recording, a woman, who sounds like the first lady, tells the man not to kill her because she has children.

The woman, who is referred to as “Your Excellency” by the man she is berating, accuses the military of spying on her, asking what they want from her and where they are taking the information.

She adds: “I am not involved in politics or the army.”

Sources say the call was prompted by a security personnel reassignment that the first lady was unhappy about.

The woman on the recording also says she is aware of a plot to kill her husband, that “they” are trying to get to her husband “through me”.

“Go and kill Mnangagwa not me because I am a mother,” the woman is heard saying.

Emerson Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 after the military ousted his predecessor Robert Mugabe. He won an election a year ago, though the result was disputed by the opposition.

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