Veterai who was known for arresting human rights and MDC activists in the province during his reign will be replaced by Senior Assistant commissioner Norman Sibanda from PGHQ.
Human rights defenders and MDC officials have welcomed the transfer of Veterai who is accused of arresting and harassing human rights activists, journalists and politicians from the two MDC formations.
During Veterai’s era Matabeleland North had became a mine field for human rights activists, journalists and politicians from the two MDC formations.
“We welcome the transfer of Veterai from the province. In fact the transfer was long overdue because this man was a Zanu (PF) activist masquerading as a police officer. It was virtually impossible to hold meetings in the province under Veterai,” said Tabitha Khumalo, the MDC –T deputy spokesperson.
Khumalo said her party was praying that the person who took over from Veterai would be professional and non partisan. A human rights defender and lawyer from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), lizwe Jamela who has also been arrested in the province, said police officers under the command of Veterai seemed to be biased in the way they carried out their duties.
“It seems the police in the province had serious problems with human rights activists and politicians from the two MDC formations. We have had to intervene in most cases in the province when organisations perceived to be anti-ZANU(PF) were denied permission to hold meetings.
Zanu (PF) has been holding meetings without any hassles while organisations such as Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), human rights organisations and the MDC‘s have had serious problems in conducting meetings in the province, “ said Jamela. According to (ZLHR) and Abammeli, a group of lawyers which offers free legal assistance to people from Matabeleland region, more than 40 politicians and human rights activists were arrested in the province last year.
Like his boss, Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri, Veterai has also publicly declared his political allegiance to Zanu (PF.
The leader of the main faction of the MDC and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the leader of the smaller faction of the MDC, Welshman Ncube joins the endless list of people who have been arrested and harassed in the province.Post published in: News