Principals meet as row over Chihuri intensifies

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe were on Monday due to hold a second meeting to discuss the heated issue of police chief Augustine Chihuri’s contract, which expired on January 31st.

 Augustine Chihuri
Augustine Chihuri

It was announced after a meeting of all three principals last Wednesday that they had agreed to let Chihuri continue in his post as “acting” police commissioner, until a permanent replacement was decided on.

Tsvangirai and Mutambara saw this as a successful meeting, but they were strongly criticized by some observers and civic groups, who dismissed both leaders as having been fooled by Mugabe, because no date was set for Chihuri’s termination.

Then Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba added fuel to the fire by publicizing a different spin on the agreement. Charamba said Mugabe had actually unilaterally re-appointed Chihuri as police chief. This cast much confusion over the agreement made last week.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka reportedly said the issue of Chihuri’s contract was likely to be on the agenda at Monday’s meeting. But Mugabe’s man Charamba insisted the meeting was “routine” and Chihuri was no longer an issue.

The fiercely loyal Chihuri has publicly denounced the MDC and Tsvangirai on several occasions. He has also been trusted with destructive operations for ZANU PF, including Operation Murambatsvina, which displaced nearly one million people.

No details of the Monday meeting were made available by the end of the day. SW Radio Africa

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