Rozario: corrupt or victim of the system?


Former police deputy commissioner, Emmanuel Rozario, who retired last month after being convicted on a charge of contempt of court and being fined $800, was essentially not a corrupt cop but may have tried to capitalise on the corruption he witnessed within the police force to protect his brother, sources say.

These sources say Rozario was aware of the blatant corruption within the police hierarchy, which they say he was not part of. He therefore erroneously thought that since most of the top police officers were getting away with it he too could get away with it.

Rozario made allegations under oath against then Masvingo senior magistrate, Billiard Musakwa, that he was corrupt. He claimed in a 19-page affidavit that Musakwa had solicited a $50 bribe before sentencing his brother, Joseph, who had been convicted of culpable homicide.

The report was distributed to, among others, David Zamuchiya then Secretary for Justice, and Philip Mhike at the time CID chief.

But the end of the case must have been a relief for Rozario as his brother’s case had been on the books for nearly eight years.

Joseph Rozario, who was also a police officer, was involved in a car accident on February 11, 1984. The Toyota Landcruiser he was driving along the Beitbridge-Masvingo road was involved in a head-on with a Scania truck.

Three people, a police constable and two civilians in the Landcruiser were killed instantly. Joseph was sentenced to four months imprisonment and prohibited from driving any class of vehicle for six months on June 6 1988.

He lodged an appeal against both conviction and sentence but this was dismissed with costs on June 15, 1990. On July 27, 1990, to mark the country’s tenth independence anniversary, the President declared a general amnesty which pardoned every member or former member of the security forces in respect of any offence committed in good faith for the purpose of or in connection with the restoration or maintenance of good order and public safety.

Contending that the offence of which he had been convicted was committed in circumstances entitling him to a free pardon, Joseph instituted motion proceedings before the High Court on September 26, 1990. As he was still serving his sentence, he also sought and order for his immediate release.

The application was opposed by both the Minster of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Director of Prisons and was dismissed with costs.

The presiding judge said Joseph had failed to prove that at the time of the offence he was engaged in anti-dissident activities since there was evidence that the journey was entirely for personal reasons.

Joseph once again appealed against that decision claiming that the purpose of the journey was to investigate the whereabouts of a dissident called Lunga and the civilians in his company were assisting him.

Chief Justice Gubbay said in his judgment delivered in March this year it was not in dispute that when the offence was committed Joseph was a member of the Quebec Troop of the support Unit based at Ngundu Halt for the purpose of carrying out ant-dissident operations and for the maintenance of publicity safety.

However, he said, Joseph had to show that the offence of culpable homicide was committed in good faith and for the purpose of or in connection with the restoration or maintenance of good order and public safety.

The words “in good faith,” the Chief Justice said, merely accentuated the need for honesty and a lack of an ulterior motive on the part of the person committing the offence.

Under the amnesty a member of the security forces with more than one motive would not lose his entitlement to a free pardon provided his predominant motive had been the genuine desire to restore or maintain good order and public safety.

On the other hand, even though the offence may have had the effect of restoring or maintaining good order and public safety, this would not assist the perpetrator if his predominant motive was the satisfaction of a personal grudge, the Chief Justice said.

Joseph, the Chief Justice said, had therefore to prove that the negligent manner in which he was driving the Landcruiser was genuinely done predominantly for the purpose of or in connection with the restoration or maintenance of good order and public safety.

But as it was Joseph was simply going in search of Lunga. The position may have been different, the Chief Justice said, if Joseph had been driving the Landcruiser in pursuit of a vehicle driven or occupied by Lunga.


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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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