Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

More CIO agents exposed in extra list 2

By Lance Guma

See Supplementary List of CIO agents in Zimbabwe

After six weeks serializing a leaked 2001 list of CIO agents working in and outside Zimbabwe, SW Radio Africa last week published a supplementary list of agents who, for various reasons, might not have been on the previous document. In part two of this series we continue exposing more details and names that have come to light.

State security agent Joseph Mwale
State security agent Joseph Mwale

Joseph Mwale is regarded as one of the most notorious state security agents in the country. Eleven years after being implicated in the brutal murder of MDC-T activists Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya, he continues to walk the streets a free man and enjoys high level protection from the Mugabe regime.

Mwale’s claim to infamy began in Buhera in 2000 when, in the run up to parliamentary elections, he ambushed a car being used by campaign aides to Morgan Tsvangirai, Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya. Armed with AK47 rifles Mwale and a ZANU PF mob, that included Kainos ‘Kitsiyatota’ Zimunya, petrol bombed the vehicle, killing Chiminya and Mabika.

The death was gruesome as Mabika and Chiminya got out of the car and ran ‘across the fields burning like balls of flames.’ When the mob left the scene one of the survivors who had managed to escape, Sanderson Makombe, told SW Radio Africa he got to Chiminya and found him dead. Mabika was still alive and shouting out the names of her attackers. She was to die later in hospital.

In 2004 the regime charged Mwale’s co-accused, Webster Gwama, Bernard Makuwe and Morris Kainos (alias Kitsiyatota). All three were indicted on two counts of murder. Many activists queried why ring leader Mwale was not being prosecuted. The trial never took off anyway and instead Mwale was reported to have been promoted within the CIO ranks and given a posh car to use.

The head of the CIO Happyton Bonyongwe (left), army chief Constantine Chiwenga (centre) in discussion with Robert Mugabe.
The head of the CIO Happyton Bonyongwe (left), army chief Constantine Chiwenga (centre) in discussion with Robert Mugabe.

In 2006 SW Radio Africa reported how police were too scared to enforce a written order from the Attorney General’s office to arrest Mwale. The then High Court Judge James Devitte ordered Mwale be brought to trial for the murder. Former MDC-T spokesman Nelson Chamisa told us at the time “violence is perpetrated and coordinated by the state and that’s why Mwale is roaming free.”

Keeper Nyambanje, listed as the head of the CIO in the Tsholotsho District, made headlines in 2009 after threatening to kill a magistrate with a gun for remanding his wife in custody during a corruption trial. During a phone call Nyambanje warned provincial magistrate Abednico Ndebele that he was “a very rough person” and threatened to kill him or have him murdered.

It was further alleged that Nyambanje even demanded that the magistrate give him the docket relating to his wife’s trial. Nyambanje’s wife, Samukeliso Nyathi, worked for the Grain Marketing Board and was charged with stealing maize and selling it on the black market. It’s also well documented that Nyambanje played a key role in the abduction of MDC supporters in Matabeleland North in 2008.

MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora

Another CIO agent, David Nyika, was sued for Z$52 million in compensation by former NCA Vice Chairman and current MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, in 2005. Nyika’s lorry hit a Mazda B1600 car Mwonzora was driving along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road, but the CIO agent claimed it was an accident. Mwonzora won in a default judgment after Nyika did not bother to turn up in court.

Another notorious operative is Sidney Somai based in Marondera. In May 2008 Somai was implicated in the abduction of the MDC-T district chairman for Marondera, Potifa Bakaaiman. Several MDC-T supporters had been walking back from a court hearing when a blue twin-cab speeded towards them. Somai jumped out and hit Bakaaiman on the head with the butt of rifle.

Somai dragged Bakaaiman into the vehicle and sped off. The twin cab used in several of these Marondera abductions had the letters CAM written on it. SW Radio Africa reported how the same car was part of the fleet given to the Electoral Commission to use during the 2008 harmonised elections. The vehicle filled up with fuel at the main police station every day and was well known in the area.

Former CIO agent Patrick Jeffrey Tabva is also on the list. In March 2009 he was hauled to court facing fraud charges that sucked in Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangangwa. Tabva and Andrew Raymond Williams were accused of defrauding the Grain Marketing Board of fertilizer, flour and mealie meal. Tabva however claimed he was acting on behalf of Mnangagwa and other ZANU-PF politicians to use the food and other handouts to campaign, ahead of elections in 2008.

Asher Walter Tapfumanei, listed as CIO Assistant Director (External) in 2009, is also a retired army Brigadier General. He is said to have played key role in the June 2008 election violence and the abduction of several MDC-T activists. He was fingered as one of the people behind the abduction Jestina Mukoko, Gandi Mudzingwa and journalist Shadreck Andrison Manyere, among others.

The activists were slapped with trumped-up charges of terrorism and banditry and Tapfumanei is said to have conducted some of the interviews in which they were tortured. Not only were the activists abducted and tortured but they were also kept incommunicado between November and December 2008 by the CIO. SW Radio Africa