By Brian Chitemba
Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira (49) has been arrested by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet on fresh charges of protecting illegal gold dealers.
Charumbira yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Vongai Muchuchuti charged with two counts of defeating or obstructing the course of justice and criminal abuse of office by a public officer as defined in Section 174 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.
He was not asked to plead and was released on $10 000 bail.
As part of his bail conditions, Charumbira was ordered to report once every Friday at the Police General Headquarters Anti-Corruption Unit, not to interfere with state witnesses and reside at his known address.
Allegations against Charumbira include that he interfered with a case where police in Mutare arrested David Mucheche for illegal possession of 1,3 kilogrammes of gold.
It is the State’s case that on June 2019 at around 5am, Detective Constable Mashange, Detective Constable Chada and Detective Constable Mahere arrested Mucheche at house number 10 Blessblock, Murambi in Mutare for violating the Gold Trade Act after he was found with the precious metal without a trading licence.
Police officers took Mucheche to Mutare Central Police Station where they briefed Officer-in-Charge Detective Inspector Felix Muchaka.
In the middle of the briefing, it is alleged that one David Crosby budged into Detective Insp Muchaka’s office and handed him a phone which had Charumbira on the other end of the line.
It is alleged that Charumbira, over the phone, subsequently ordered the police to release Mucheche and give him back his gold.
This was done before the investigating detectives could verify if Mucheche had a gold trading licence. Further, the precious mineral had not been recorded in police records as an exhibit, while a warned and cautioned statement had not been recorded from Mucheche.
Charumbira’s charge sheet reads: “Detective Machaka complied with the instructions of the accused (Charumbira). The suspect was given back the gold before it was entered into official books at the station.
“The instruction given by the accused to Detective Inspector Machaka were unlawful and tantamount to obstructing or defeating the course of justice.”
Charumbira was last month arrested for protecting Crosby, who was allegedly illegally trading in gold. The top cop is also facing a slew of other charges. Charumbira has a pending court case in which he is accused of interfering, on December 17, 2015, with a case involving Detectives Ndlovu, Mbundire and Munyandure — all of CID Drugs, Harare — who had arrested Charles Chabata Magolise for possession of dangerous drugs. The Sunday Mail