Police have turned over new leaf –– Makone

CO-HOME Affairs minister Theresa Makone this week vouched for the police saying they have turned over a new leaf as opposed to being partisan.

Her statements are in direct contradiction to what rights groups and her own MDC-T party say about the police whom they accuse of continuing with selective application of the law.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, Makone, an MDC-T national women’s assembly chairperson and one of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s closest allies, defended the police –– a departure from her party, which has been pushing for security-sector reforms citing partisan policing by the police and other state security agencies.
The MDC-T has accused the police, together with the Attorney-General’s Office, of enforcing the law in a partisan manner and has been angered by the police’s failure to investigate, arrest and prosecute known or identifiable perpetrators of politically-motivated violence.
Last week the Independent carried a story on the police’s failure to investigate close to 200 murders of MDC-T supporters which occurred between April 2008 and December of the same year.
The MDC-T said the culture of impunity by the police had remained intact despite the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which gave birth to the government of national unity.
According to the GPA, the state organs and institutions, like the police, should not belong to any political party and should be professional and impartial in the discharge of their duties. The state organs should strictly observe the principle of the rule of law.
This issue is one of the 24 items which the three political principals said in their implementation matrix should be done on a continuous basis.
But Makone said the issue has been dealt with and the police were now executing their duties in a professional manner.
She said: “The wheels of government move slowly, at a snail’s pace. But I can assure you that everything has been looked at and there is no more hiding behind a finger of someone powerful.
“As I speak right now everything is being effected – all court orders are being implemented, work is being done as the country moves forward. We are doing our job.”
Makone went further to say that: “The ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) is doing what it was mandated to do.”
She said this when she was asked what action was being taken to ensure that cases she highlighted in a document, which she prepared of cases involving senior Zanu PF officials and military officers who have defied High Court orders, were dealt with.
Makone circulated the dossier to a senior Home Affairs official linking top officials who allegedly looted farms and she asked the official to find out why the police had not dealt with the cases.
In July Makone said the net was closing in on Zanu PF bigwigs and security chiefs who allegedly looted white-owned farms during the land reform programme.
Asked when, where and by whom it was agreed that all court orders should be enforced and if her ministry has had discussions with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, Makone said she could not divulge specifics, but invited aggrieved people whose court orders were ignored to report their matter.
“It is not only the farmers. This applies to everyone and if there are still people who are aggrieved, they should know that the ZRP is now doing its job,” she said. “We intervene where the messenger of court, which falls under the Ministry of Justice, is afraid and we go and assist. All these issues have been dealt with.”
Asked why the police have not investigated the land scandal involving businessman Phillip Chiyangwa and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, which was one of the cases cited in the document, Makone said the matter was subjudice.
Harare mayor Much Masunda and eight councillors who authored the report that exposed the scandal were arrested and arraigned before the magistrates courts facing criminal defamation charges.
On April 12 acting Harare Mayor Charity Bango lodged an official complaint of corruption against Chiyangwa and two employees of the city council (reference number IR 040725/10). On April 15 the acting mayor lodged another report against Chombo.
But when told that this newspaper was referring to a report made by Bango, which police sources say was not being investigated, Makone advised the mayor to sue those not doing their job.

 

Faith Zaba

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