Did Margaret Thatcher Foil An Assassination Attempt on Robert Mugabe in 1980?

In the late 1990s I lived in Zimbabwe for a while. Following the recent death of Robert Mugabe, I’ve been re-reading the diary I kept while I was there. I just came across this report of a conversation I had, with a former solider in the Rhodesian army.

I spent the second half chatting to the white chap sitting next to me. He said he [had been] part of the Rhodesian army, and that many people have become very bitter to have fought for nothing. He also asserted that that there was a planned assassination attempt on Mugabe the day he took office in 1980. He said Mrs Thatcher bought off the Rhodesian general, and three hours before the ‘hit’ the operation was cancelled.

This was a conversation with a stranger at a sports event, where beer was being drunk. So all this might have been bravado and bullshit. But it also sounds plausible.

I wonder if any historians of the era and region have heard any variation on this story? I wonder if any government papers have since been released under the ‘thirty year rule’ that would shed any light on its veracity?

One Reply to “Did Margaret Thatcher Foil An Assassination Attempt on Robert Mugabe in 1980?”

  1. I hope you get some answers Rob. As an aside I see a likeness in this photograph between MT and Mr Johnson, something about the slant of the eyes !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.