Zimbabwe police caught up in corruption scandals

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Harare – Police officers recently arrested on allegations of abuse of office and bribery over their handling of the investigation into the illegal sale of stands in Kuwadzana in a US$1 million scam have been reassigned to the reserve pool.

The pool is a convenient place to post officers who cannot hold any specific function, or who have to be kept away from active duties pending disciplinary proceedings.

The four are deputy director for the police CID commercial crimes unit Assistant Commissioner Obeylaw Moyo (47), Detective Assistant Inspector Claudious Majonga (37), Detective Constable Aaron Karuru (32), and a fourth officer on the run.

The Herald has it on good authority that Asst Comm Moyo and Superintendent Naboth Nyachega, who are also on remand over Harare land issues, were transferred from the CID to Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) reserve along with Chief Supt H Dube who was transferred from PGHQ Transport and Logistics.

Five other senior officers were transferred to various departments within the police force as part of the restructuring, although many of those transfers are normal reassignments for duty police officers who rarely spend more than a few years in a particular post or even the same unit.

The transfers are with effective from last Wednesday.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said there was nothing unusual about transfers within the police services.

“There is nothing sinister about transfers. Transfers are part of the police work and there is need to rotate officers. The Commissioner-General of Police has a prerogative to make transfers,” he said.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) recently arrested chief public prosecutor Clement Chimbare, who was implicated in the matter, together with some of the police officers and it was alleged that they were paid off with housing stands for not arresting or not charging suspected kingpins in the scam.

There is evidence that they were allocated stands in Westlea, the new middle-income suburb of Harare, using waiting list numbers already given to others.

Another senior police officer, Supt Nyachega, and two Harare City Council officials — human resources director and former housing director, Matthew Marara, and housing assistant Aaron Taerera — were also arrested over the case. – Herald