Top cop in corruption storm
By Charles Laiton
A top Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) official has been fingered in a well-orchestrated police corruption scam by a subordinate who has since been granted protection by the High Court after exposing the alleged dirty deals.
Assistant Commissioner Clever Macheka’s alleged shenanigans were exposed when Assistant Inspector Mutindi approached the High Court challenging his unlawful transfer after denouncing the habit of extorting suspects at police stations for the top cop’s benefit.
Mutindi dragged the chief staff officer human resources (PGHQ) and police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to court after he was unceremoniously transferred from Hatfield Police Station to four other stations within a 13-month period.
“My question is how many I/C Crimes are being abused, but are silent for fear of victimisation and how are we going to curb corruption when senior officers are sending members to get money for their benefit? This is typical of the old dispensation,” Mutindi said.
“Surely even if Assistant Commissioner Macheka would want to extort money from members can someone transfer a member to four stations within 13 months?
“It is glaringly clear that he is abusing his office for selfish reasons and if left unchallenged, he would abuse more and corruption would be perpetrated infinitely.”
Mutindi’s matter was on Wednesday brought before High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero, who ruled in his favour and slapped the chief staff officer human resources (PGHQ) with costs.
Mutindi had submitted through his lawyer, Norman Mugiya, that his transfers were meant to induce him to resign because he had refused to be part of a corrupt police force.
“The four transfers of the applicant (Mutindi) at the instance of the first respondent (chief staff officer human resources (PGHQ)) be and are hereby declared to be unlawful and wrongful and accordingly set aside,” Justice Chikowero ruled.
“The first respondent is ordered to allow the applicant to remain stationed at ZRP Chitungwiza until and unless a transfer is to be initiated in terms of the law and a proper notice and the provision of all payable allowances is made. The first respondent is ordered to pay costs.”
According to court papers, Mutindi was initially stationed at Hatfield Police Station, transferred to St Mary’s and hardly four months later, was moved to ZRP Chitungwiza and later to Waterfalls Police Station without any reasons.
“What I discovered is that these harassing transfers were doctored by Assistant Commissioner Clever Macheka after I refused to be pressured to comply to his unlawful demands of extorting accused persons at ZRP St Mary’s and give him cash in order to buy favour with him,” Mutindi said.
“When I refused to co-operate with the said Assistant Commissioner Macheka he told me that I would pay for it and he would not rest until I am transferred to a fixing station or to be frustrated until I leave the organisation. I refused to budge, hence the reason why I am now suffering.”
Mutindi added: “When I refused to do what is clearly unlawful he then decided to use his influence to fix me as he is now doing. Consistent with his promise to fix me, I was transferred from ZRP St Mary’s to ZRP Chitungwiza administration within two weeks and he told Chief Inspector Mutabvuka never to allow me anywhere near the crime division”. NewsDay