Top cops quit

Gift Phiri

TWO senior police officers have quit the force rather than sacrifice professional principles, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.



ca, sans-serif”>Sources said senior assistant commissioner Frank Musuthu and senior staffing officer (internal investigations) Ngonidzashe Gambiza resigned three weeks ago after they were assigned to the Commissioner’s Pool, widely regarded in the force as a means of dealing with problem officers.


The officers are understood to have resisted pressure to perform partisan duties.


There were unconfirmed claims that the two officers had clashed with Chihuri, who has made public his political affiliation to Zanu PF.


The sources say Gambiza was told he was no longer fit for active police duties although he had served in the force for over 20 years. He could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.


Musuthu confirmed he had resigned but would not comment further.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe last week extended Chihuri’s term of office by another year in what was widely seen as a vote of confidence in him ahead of next year’s election. Police and the army have played key roles in recent elections, in particular during the presidential poll in 2002.

Mugabe has renewed Chihuri’s term annually since his first four-year term expired in 1998.


The latest extension makes Chihuri the longest serving police commissioner in the country’s history.


Chihuri, an ex-combatant, has publicly declared his support for Zanu PF, in the process contravening the Police Act that bars officers from active participation in politics. He stated publicly that he would resign if Zanu PF lost power.


Under Chihuri, the police have been widely criticised for lack of professionalism and human rights abuses.