Headaches for Mahachi


Home Affairs Minister Moven Mahachi who has so much been overshadowed by his deputy Dumiso Dabengwa that there is wide speculation that he will not retain that portfolio in any cabinet reshuffle has been in for a hard time.

People are accusing him of being responsible for the present maize shortage yet he was Minister of Lands some years ago, at a time when there were surpluses for that matter. They are saying he was responsible for pushing farmers away from essential crops but he has refused to take the blame.

But it appears the present state in the police force is giving him more headaches than the drought. He openly appealed to senior police officers to stop witch-hunting and “selling” each other.

Coming from the minister responsible for the hottest portfolio, and one that is attracting world attention as people question the integrity of various police forces, Mahachi’s sentiments seem to have been ill-timed as people may argue that he was calling for covering up of crimes committed by the police. This is particularly significant because almost the entire police hierarchy is appearing in court on one charge or the other.

The acting police commissioner Augustine Chihuri is appearing in court on a charge of corruption involving cars. His deputy Emmanuel Rozario is also appearing in court for trying to obstruct the course of justice and so is the senior assistant commissioner James Chademana who is facing charges of poaching.

Indeed, it could be that something has gone wrong in the police force and officers are staking out each other but what is the cause of this? It shows all is not well within the police fore. Perhaps the main cause of this could be frustration as there appears to be no set pattern for promotion within the force.

Is it the experience, the academic qualifications or loyalty to the party that counts? If it is loyalty to the party how do those who are better qualified or those who have served longer feel, especially if they’re aware of a few favours one might have done outside the law, or one or two petty crimes one may have committed because one believed no one could arrest him?

This obviously will cause Mahachi a few headaches. But can one blame anyone when Chihuri was confirmed acting police commissioner when the nation knew he would be appearing in court on a corruption charge a month later? What was the nation supposed to think when the President confirmed an accused person to such a high office? Was he already presuming, and therefore over-riding the decision of the courts, that he was innocent, or was he saying no matter what the court’s verdict, it was not going to change anything?

Even if the President has so much faith in Chihuri, he at least should have waited until the verdict before confirming the appointment.

The President’s decision seems to have put Mahachi in a tight spot. What will he do with Chihuri if he is acquitted? Will he allow Chihuri to command a force which tried to have him sent to jail? Would this work? Will the people believe Chihuri is innocent?

Recent events in Los Angeles show that people, including Zimbabweans, are increasingly becoming more daring when it comes to putting things right.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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