#Zimbabwe’s police boss Chihuri must be stopped

via Chihuri must be stopped | The Zimbabwean 07.05.14

In the space of just two weeks, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) did two very silly things that may affect us all for the coming two decades. First, they arrested two journalists from the private media for reporting on the death of a three-year-old boy who was run over by a commuter omnibus as the driver fled bribe-hunting and street-loafing police officers. Secondly, they banned a May 3 World Press Freedom Day march organised by Zacras and the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ)

In the first instance, the police displayed clear vindictiveness against the Newsday journalists, editor Nevanji Madanhire and Moses Matenga, a promising and fearless young reporter. Their crime, it is abundantly clear, is that their story blamed the police.

The headline and mourners’ utterances squarely put the blame on Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri. I am convinced that this is why the police took Madanhire and Matenga in for long hours of interrogation. It is either Chihuri was hitting back at the journalists for reporting that people were blaming him, or some overzealous Law and Order officers wanted to placate their boss, possibly for a promotion or a lucrative foreign assignment in South Sudan.

I know what Chihuri is capable of doing when journalists report in a way he does not like because I am a victim of his ire. Just to wind back, on September 9 2002, in the maiden edition of the now defunct Daily Mirror where I was Chief Reporter, we ran a front page story headlined “Chihuri must go” that I wrote. That was after talking to some senior police officers who claimed Chihuri was ill and was becoming increasingly unpopular with his subordinates.

Three days later, Crispen Makedenge—then an Inspector with the Homicide section—who had apparently been tracing my movements, arrested me at Corner House along Samora Machel, right on the doorstep of the British Embassy. While my arrest received widespread attention, there is one thing the world has not known up to date.

Makedenge, during interrogation that lasted into the morning of the following day, confided in me that Chihuri was waiting at the Senior Officers Mess at Morris Depot to be briefed on what I would have said. Unfortunately for him, I refused to give a comment in the absence of a lawyer. Then, not a single person outside the police knew what had happened to me, and the then head of Law and Order, Charles Mufandaedza, constantly reminded me about that. That is how personal Chihuri can become with journalists.

Madanhire and Matenga’s arrests for criminal defamation have nothing to do with reporting in an illegal manner. It is all about settling personal scores by invoking an archaic and unconstitutional law.

I was not surprised when the police banned the Zacras-MAZ march that had been approved earlier. It seems Chihuri and his lieutenants still wanted to make a statement against journalists, to demonstrate who holds the real power in Zimbabwe. So, the ban has nothing to do with the lame reason given that the police were overwhelmed by other events of national importance. What national events were taking place on Saturday May 3?

It is high time Information Minister Jonathan Moyo gave Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs Minister, and Chihuri some honest talking to. He must also rein in Tourism and Finance Ministers Walter Mzembi and Patrick Chinamasa. Zimbabwe does not need the bad publicity that the police seem so keen to work up. As it stands, we are limping under bad laws and policies, particularly the policy on indigenisation that has scared away crucial investors. That is why the economy is suffering. That is why people are hungry.

Chihuri, especially, needs to be told in no uncertain terms that Zimbabwe is much larger than his ego. We are tired of the pariah tag that we have been reeling under for so long. If the police are allowed to continue on their crazy rail like that, we are doomed. They need to be stopped.

We have had so much of their highway bribery and extortion cartels that have severely injured our image and we don’t need their Machiavellian antics anymore. The recent arrests and march ban might look like isolated incidents, but they are capable of yoking us for a very long time. – To comment on this article, please contact majonitt@gmail.com

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 7 years ago

    I am surprised there are so few articles about Chihuri and his police. The man is despicable.

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    RETIRE THE SON OF BUHERA (sob)

  • comment-avatar
    Sonofngwazi 7 years ago

    TO HELL WITH CHIHURI

  • comment-avatar
    tapiwa 7 years ago

    Chihuri why dont you rest in peace

  • comment-avatar
    Justice 7 years ago

    Check his acquired wealth and then chuck him in Chikurubi like he has done to so many.

  • comment-avatar

    It is high time Information Minister Jonathan Moyo gave Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs Minister, and Chihuri some honest talking to?
    Moyo is in this game for himself, he knows he will not survive with out Chihuri and Mohadi. He is not strong enough to take these two on. Anyone he deemed to be less powerful to him and in an opposing faction will get all the bad publicity, in the name of honest journalism. Beware of Moyo.

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 7 years ago

    he has been in this position for god knows how long

  • comment-avatar
    Folded Arms 7 years ago

    Chihure sorry meant to say Chihuri..