THE chief of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Matabeleland, Innocent Chibaya, and head of police in Bulawayo, Charles Mufandaidze, have been transferred after Vice-President Joseph
Msika held them accountable for the mistreatment of youths arrested for supporting a Zanu PF faction opposed to war veterans leader Jabulani Sibanda.
Chibaya and Mufandaidze were reportedly summoned and berated by an angry Msika at his Gumtree home last month after four party youths pointed fingers at the two over their alleged mistreatment.
Chibaya was at the beginning of this month transferred to Mutare while Mufandaidze has been moved to Midlands province.
Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena this week confirmed Mufandaidze’s transfer but said he was not aware that the transfer was linked to the Msika issue.
“I am not aware that Mufandaidze was transferred as a result of differences with Vice-President Msika. This is a normal transfer and transfers in the police force are necessary after promotions so as to regularise manpower distributions,” Bvudzijena said.
He said the police force always made transfers over given periods and that the decision to transfer Mufandaidze was not political.
“On whether the transfer was political in nature I am not aware of that. But those are regular transfers we carry out so as to give balance to our manpower distribution,” Bvudzijena said.
A security officer at Magnet House, the state security headquarters in Bulawayo, confirmed over the phone that Chibaya had been moved to Mutare.
“Chibaya is no longer here. Why don’t you try to get hold of him in Mutare where he is now based?” said the security officer after querying the nature of the call to Chibaya.
After meeting the battered youths Msika reportedly said he wanted the matter investigated and those responsible punished.
However, a source linked to the operations of the the state security agency told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the move to transfer the two officers was prompted by Msika’s anger over the brutal treatment of the party youths.
“The matter was brought to the attention of Nicholas Goche (State security minister) and Kembo Mohadi (Home Affairs minister) by Msika. The transfer of the two is related to their handling of the torture issue,” said the source.
Trouble for the two senior officers began when four ruling Zanu PF youths approached Msika at a meeting he was holding at his Gumtree home and related their ordeal at the hands of CIO operatives in the city.
In front of a crowd numbering 300 people that included politburo and central committee members, the four youths, Mandlenkosi Sibanda, Tisunge Botomani, Nkosinathi Gama and Mandlenkosi Luphahla, removed their clothes to reveal injuries to their private parts and bruises all over their bodies.
The youths alleged that they were tortured by CIO operatives in the presence of Chibaya who did nothing to restrain his subordinates.
The youths alleged that they were tortured for supporting a Zanu PF faction opposed to Jabulani Sibanda, the war veterans leader based in Bulawayo.
The youths were later detained at Mpilo Hospital for overnight treatment.
Sibanda has in the past clashed with senior party leaders in the province whom he accuses of not having a constituency base in the two Matabeleland provinces.