Friday, March 04, 2011

(NEWZIMBABWE) Chihuri fingers Khupe in violence

Chihuri fingers Khupe in violence
Super-charged ... Chihuri gesticulates while talking to MPs on Thursday
by Eddie Chihwape
03/03/2011 00:00:00

POLICE chief Augustine Chihuri has sensationally accused Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, a cabinet minister and four parliamentarians of fomenting violence around the country.

A supercharged Chihuri told the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Home Affairs that Khupe and her colleague in the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were behind most reported incidents of violence around the country.

“It’s wrong for you to call me before your committee. You, the politicians of MDC are causing all the trouble we are having. The political party you are leading is causing problems to the public,” a finger wagging Chihuri said after hearing accusations from MPs that the Zimbabwe Republic Police was partisanly serving Zanu PF interests.

“The police are only reacting to the crimes that you would have committed and it is wrong for you to accuse us of siding with one political party.”

The Police Commissioner, a former freedom fighter, has publicly stated that he supports President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party.

He said police had recorded 121 cases of violence against MDC supporters compared to “just over 20” blamed on Zanu PF.

The police chief named Khupe, Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone, deputy minister of Youth and Indigenisation Tongai Matutu and three MPs - Douglas Mwonozra, Paul Madzore and Rogers Tazviona – as perpetrators of violence.

Mwonzora and Tazviona are languishing in remand prison following their arrests separately on violence charges.

Makone is in charge of the police but last month had to abruptly cut short her visit to Mbare, where she was assessing the damages wrought by violence blamed on Zanu PF sympathisers. She told journalists travelling with her that she had to rush business “before Zanu PF supporters come for us.”

Chihuri absolved police of any wrongdoing and poured cold water on claims that the ZRP was applying the law selectively. Instead, he blamed the MDC MPs and their supporters for instigating most violence in their constituencies.

The committee chairman Madzore, whom Chihuri fingered in the alleged violence, had a heated exchange with the police chief.

“Commissioner Chihuri let us not personalise issues. We want you to give the details to us on what has happened in Harare and not for you to be pointing fingers at us - the MDC’s MP who are victims of the political violence,” said Madzore.

Madzore challenged Chihuri to explain the pre-June 2008 presidential run-off violence and re-emergence of “militia bases” in Harare’s townships.

I have come to talk about political violence that is happening in the country and the issue you now want to talk about is being handled by the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation,” said Chihuri.

“I don’t know about the torture camps you are referring to.”

Accused ... Deputy Prime Minister Khupe at a Harare hotel with Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in Harare on Thursday

Civic and pro-democracy groups have slammed a wave of recent arrests and rising incidents of political violence which they blame on Zanu PF. Only on Wednesday, Prime Minister Tsvangirai expressed frustration at what he sees as police partisanship.

“State security agents such as the police, the army and the Central Intelligence Organisation have become part of a cabal that is at the centre of a well-orchestrated partisan operation to instil fear in the people of Zimbabwe,” Tsvangirai said.

“The arrest of Munyaradzi Gwisai and 44 others, Hon Douglas Mwonzora and 23 others in Nyanga, and many other innocent villagers and activists across the country is at the centre of impunity, violence and the selective application of the law which has conspired to poison the political atmosphere in the country.”

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