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Senior cop invites criminals to police party

HARARE- A senior police officer is facing disciplinary action for allegedly inviting two criminals to the Harare South District Police end-of-year party where he reportedly gave them “red carpet’’ treatment.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri once said "This country came through blood and the barrel of the gun and it can never be re-colonised through a simple pen, which costs as little as five cents,” Chihuri told junior officers, back from a trip he sponsored to the national liberation shrines in Mozambique.
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri

Police sources confirmed the case last week, adding that the officer was likely to face a charge of abuse of office.

According to an internal memorandum dispatched by provincial police intelligence officers to the Officer Commanding Harare Province, the said policeman, Officer Commanding Operations Superintendent Sibanda, was already at the party’s venue — the Tobacco Sales Floor in Harare — when the two alleged criminals (names withheld) arrived.

Supt Sibanda is said to have escorted the two to the officers’ pavilion where he ordered a crate of beer for them. It was then that members of the Crime Consultative Committee raised concern after recognising the criminals. The party was attended by all assistant inspectors from all the district’s eight stations and their officers-in-charge.

“Soon after the departure of the guest of honour, two known criminals arrived at the venue of the party. They were received by Supt Sibanda, who escorted them to the officers’ pavilion. He later invited them to the high table where he was seated and ordered that a crate of Zambezi pints be given to them. The two enjoyed the party until 1800 hours when they left the party.

“The conduct exhibited by the senior officer leaves a lot to be desired since some members of the Crime Consultative Committee and business people from the eight stations, who were present, know the two criminals. They were all surprised to see senior officers mingling with them,” read part of the memorandum.

Some officers were reportedly irked by the fact that the two criminals were given a free feast while they each had to fork out US$20 towards food and entertainment. Supt Sibanda could not be reached for comment by late yesterday afternoon.