POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has indicated that law enforcement agents were set to swoop on expelled Vice-President Joice Mujuru and other top party officials accused of corruption by President Robert Mugabe during the Zanu PF congress early this month.
Speaking at the last passout of 566 graduands for the year at Morris Depot in Harare yesterday, Chihuri said they would heed Mugabe’s calls that corrupt people should be brought to book if the evidence was availed.
Without mentioning names, Chihuri said police would not be deterred in their efforts to arrest anyone implicated in corruption.
“Let me assure the nation that the Zimbabwe Republic Police shall leave no stone unturned in bringing all perpetrators of corruption to book,” he said.
“This stance is in line with the organisation’s constitutional mandate and, more importantly, with His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe’s (Robert Mugabe) sentiments during the official opening of the 6th Zanu PF national people’s congress.”
Chihuri went on to quote Mugabe’s statement during the congress held two weeks ago.
Officially opening his party congress in Harare recently, Mugabe said all Cabinet ministers and top civil servants involved in corruption risked prosecution and dismissal once incriminating evidence linking them to the allegations was gathered.
“All those implicated in corruption cases shall be arrested if substantial evidence is gathered,” Mugabe said.
“Even if you are a minister, deputy minister or senior civil servant, you will be fired. Give us evidence. Evidence, evidence, evidence!”
First Lady Grace Mugabe led a campaign to vilify Mujuru and her allies, accusing them of corruption and trying to topple Mugabe.
Mujuru has repeatedly denied the allegations and the First Family has so far failed to provide substantiated evidence that she was corrupt and tried to assassinate Mugabe.
Mujuru and several of her close allies were fired from government by Mugabe.
These include former Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa, who was also party secretary for administration, former Labour minister Nicholas Goche, ex-Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema, former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Olivia Muchena, former Zanu PF political commissar Webster Shamu, former Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, Dzikamai Mavhaire (Energy minister) and his deputy, Munacho Mutezo.
Chihuri also warned police officers against falling into the temptation of being corrupted by money or power.
He said there was a reduction of general crime between January and October 2014, although there has been an increase in cases of motor vehicle theft, fraud, rape of juveniles and robbery.
“The reduction in general crime by 6% during the period January to October 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013 is highly commendable,” Chihuri said.
“However, it is disheartening to note that cases of theft of motor vehicles, fraud, rape of juveniles and armed robbery recorded worrisome increases of 24%, 4%, 1% and 5% respectively, calling for renewed energy and vigilance in crime prevention and detection by all police officers.”
The police boss admitted that police officers were lagging behind criminals in the area of information technology, hence the inclusion of basic accounting and information technology in the recruits’ curriculum to enable them to curb cyber-crime.
“The ever-mutating technological environment has left the police lagging behind in tracking sophisticated criminal syndicates in the country.”