Police refuse to probe army general

nelson_chamisaHARARE - Police have refused to investigate a top army officer accused of kidnapping a senior MDC-T official in Masvingo, in yet another example of unchanging attitudes in the security forces long seen as partisan and the biggest obstacle to reestablishing the rule of law in the country. <

The police at Renco Mine in Masvingo province would not even accept a report or open a docket against Major-General Engelbert Rugeje and one Major Toperesu who allegedly abducted MDC-T Masvingo South constituency secretary Elson Mutonhori about eight days ago and detained him for hours before setting him free.

In what has become a standard line from the police in cases involving Zanu (PF) activists, war veterans or members of the security forces accused of committing political violence and human rights abuses, officers at Renco said they could not a probe Rugeje because the matter was political, according to MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

“Renco Mine police refused to open a docket arguing that the matter was too political for them to be involved,” said Chamisa, who is also Information Communication Technology Minister in the unity government. According to eyewitnesses Rugeje and Toperesu on 8 January allegedly seized Mutonhori and took him away in an unmarked white Mitsubishi truck and drove to Rock Motel in Chivi some 100 km away, where they interrogated and intimidated him until midnight.

Mutonhori was sternly warned against wearing MDC regalia by the army men who reportedly also quizzed him about what point he was trying to prove by going around in an MDC T-shirt during the festive season. He was released in the early hours of the next day upon which he unsuccessfully attempted to report the matter at Renco Police Station.

Chamisa said the actions of Rugeje and Toperesu as well as the police officers who refused to investigate the soldiers are a blot on the image of national security forces who in the majority are patriotic citizens committed to upholding the law and the Constitution. Security chiefs are President Robert Mugabes staunchest allies and are seen as the biggest threat to Zimbabwes troubled transformation process, amid fears the partisan armed forces could block a transfer of power to the winners of the next elections should the victors not be Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party.

Post published in: Politics

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