By A Correspondent- Internal correspondence at the Police General Head Quarters (PGHQ) that has found its way into the hands of the media has reportedly exposed ZRP Officials and how they are frustrating criminal investigations by shielding criminal cartels in exchange for money and in some instances gold.
The correspondence also revealed how cops who have busted cartels are being victimised. In the correspondent, a signed affidavit dated September 22, Edias Tembo, a retired assistant commissioner revealed how top police officers were shielding the following in exchange for money:
- Illegal gold dealers
- Illegal diamond traders
- Foreign exchange dealers
- Human traffickers
- suspects in externalisation of forex
Tembo in the affidavit wrote:
I am a retired assistant commissioner, I was attested into the Zimbabwe Republic Police as a Patrol Officer on 08 October 1986. I was retired on March 27, 2020. I successfully rose through the rank and file up to Assistant Commissioner with 34 years of sterling service, and during my tenure, I held the highest post of acting chief of staff, human resources.
I am a well experienced and senior officer in the policing terrain. I observed that arrests and detention in this sphere were latent or almost zero. I then made a strategy to minimise this rot and I officially tabled the matter to the provincial command. I was supposed to develop a crack team to decisively deal with the menace.
The operations started sincerely. A good number of notable achievements were recorded. Quality arrests and recoveries were registered by the team. A number of service stations selling fuel registered in forex were prosecuted.
One crucial arrest of a white man (name withheld) of Bless Block Murambi in Mutare was initiated after a tip-off about the illegal gold dealings. Arrangements to arrest him, including applying for a search warrant, were done and a search warrant granted by a magistrate.
He verified the team’s identity. He professed ignorance on my team. He needed clarification from CID HQ and PGHQ. Immediately, phone calls showed from the CID HQ and PGHQ to the members of the crack unit. The crack unit briefed me of the phone calls they received from CID director,” Tembo said.
“I personally received a phone call from Chief Superintendent (name withheld) and CID HQ who indicated that he had been directed to call me by the commissioner.
“He subjected me to a long and protracted interview concerning the operations of the crack unit. I briefed the protocol commissioner about it. He made consultations and advised me to stop the operation.
“I was discouraged from indulging in such operation following lengthy telephone calls. I communicated this embarrassment to the provincial command.
“I was advised to put a halt to the investigations because some senior police officers had queried the operations. No further investigations were done on the strength of the complaint by CID HQ and PGHQ.”
Tembo said he later discovered that the Mutare businessman allegedly gave a select number of CID HQ top officers a kilogramme of gold on a monthly basis.
Information at hand indicated that he was a protected blue-eyed boy who gave a select number of CID HQ echelon a kilogramme of gold on a monthly regular basis. I then fell out of favour with my colleagues. The team was unprocedurally disbanded by Officer Commanding Manicaland indicating the discomfort by senior officers from CID HQ and PGHQ.
All CID members, especially the Border nostro, know all economic saboteurs in Mutare but that is their grazing area. They deliberately protect the saboteurs because they fatten their pockets and hence they don’t entertain investigations by any unit. At one point in time, the majority of saboteurs relocated and vacated on a tip-off by security agents.
If the status quo is maintained, I doubt if vision 2030 will be achieved. A new set of measures are urgently required to address this menace before the economy collapses. The majority of corrupt officers survive on protecting the economic saboteurs at a price.
Meanwhile. when the ZRP National spokesperson Assitant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was asked about the document that leaked from the PGHQ he said he was not aware of the document:
I am not aware of the letter or that document, unless it was addressed to a particular department.-Standard