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Graft-accused police boss guns for Zacc

By Winstone Antonio

Police commissioner in charge of Matabeleland North province, Erasmus Makodza, who was recently arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office, has filed a complaint to the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu) asking it to investigate Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chief investigator Eric Chacha for abuse of office.

Matabeleland North, Commissioner Erasmus Makodza
Matabeleland North, Commissioner Erasmus Makodza

Makodza was nabbed recently and charged with illegally structuring a deal for his alleged girlfriend, Mawonei Chapfudza, which enabled her to enter into a farming joint venture in 2019 with the police at Lendy Farm in Marondera.

He is currently out on $10 000 bail.

On February 10, 2021, the police boss wrote to Sacu, a unit which was set up by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing the Zacc investigator, Chacha of abusing his office by getting him arrested in a bid to rescue a land developer who Makodza is fighting over a botched US$40 000 land deal.

In a letter to Sacu head Thabani Mpofu, seen by NewsDay, Makodza claimed that Chacha and the land developer Felix Munyaradzi were friends, and hence the investigating officer was conflicted and pursuing a personal vendetta.

“I write in connection with the above matter and the unjustified harassment of myself by members of the Zacc, namely Eric Chacha. I am of the view that Chacha is working with Felix Munyaradzi and they have ganged up to abuse the State apparatus to persecute me to settle personal vendettas,” Makodza claimed.

“The above view is based on a number of facts which I explain below. Sometime in July 2020, I lodged a complaint against Munyaradzi, who swindled me of a stand worth US$40 000. The matter is before the courts and has been set for February 24, 2021.”

He said Munyaradzi had been actively pursuing him to have an out-of-court settlement.

“To that extent, he has sent some people to approach me to seek audience for purposes of having me withdraw charges against the accused, because it was not in my best interest to pursue the matter as he had a dossier on me which would get me arrested.

“I flatly declined to do so and that did not sit well with the accused. This is where Chacha comes in. The two, who are friends, connived to use the State apparatus to create investigations which are frivolous and have no legal basis.”

“Chacha, who is an officer at Zacc, was influenced to cause my arrest, detention and prosecution on account of Munyaradzi. In fact, the two are known to each other and spend a lot of time together plotting how to continue persecuting me,” he added.

“Chacha has abused the office knowing well that he is taking instructions from Munyaradzi, who is not a State functionary. To that extent, they connived that I be arrested a few days before their trial commenced in the hope that I will be denied bail and taken to remand prison so that I lose my credibility when giving testimony,” he said.

Makodza further claimed that during the course of Zacc investigations, Chacha interviewed his former driver, Davison Nkomo, whom he advised to tell him to resign as he was soon going to be arrested, adding that Nkomo had written an affidavit on the issue and was ready to testify.

“I find such conduct constituting abuse of office as the investigating officer has put his personal interest in the matter and not national interest,” he said.

Mpofu yesterday declined to comment on the matter, but referred all questions to national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

But Nyathi said he was not aware of Makodza’s letter to Sacu.

“I am not even aware that Commissioner Makodza wrote a letter to Sacu. Today (yesterday) being a Sunday, most guys are not in office and tomorrow (today) is a holiday. Definitely I am not aware of it,” he said. News Day

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