Brown (40) was murdered in the early hours of April 18, allegedly by a quartet comprising two soldiers, a pirate taxi driver and another man who have since been arrested.
Several residents who talked to this paper said CIO agents have been targeting beer halls and night spots indiscriminately harassing ordinary people and enquiring about the death of Brown.
The agents, according to residents, are easily noticeable with their unmarked vehicles, harsh tones and inquisitiveness.
“We are living in fear because as you know CIO agents are associated with terror and even innocent people can be caught up in their blitz.” said a Highfield resident who declined to be named.
Another resident said a bar (named) in Glen Norah had to be closed after four men had a misunderstanding with a patron who they were asking about the death of Brown.
“They came in and started asking questions about Brown and one patron could not answer them and this created a nasty verbal exchange that resulted in the bar owner requesting to close shop.
Observations by The Zimbabwean have revealed that due to this wave of intimidation, some night clubs are closing earlier than usual.
As confirmation of this, many bar owners refused to grant interviews, citing fear of being heard by the spies. “It is difficult for me to talk to you about the situation because I do not know who is listening to us right now” said most of them.
Police spokesperson Blessmore Chishaka told the press that police were yet to receive reports of harassment of residents by CIO members but confirmed the arrest of the four on charges of kidnapping and murdering Brown.
But a senior CIO official said the murder could be more than just a result of an ‘innocent’ misunderstanding.
“It is not a crackdown, but just a routine process to make sure the murder was not part of bigger ploy by state enemies or criminals to eliminate a key member of the agency.”
Allegations are that Brown was fatally after a misunderstanding over a pirate taxi fare. Police said Brown was drinking beer at a night club in Glen Norah B before hiring a pirate taxi to his Waterfalls home.
Brown offered US$4 and the taxi driver, who demanded US$5, then called his friends, who included the two soldiers and they assaulted Brown before dumping his body near High Glen Road.
Brown is younger brother to another dreaded senior CIO official, Joseph Mwale, who has been at large since 2000 when he was implicated in the murder of two MDC activists, Tichaona Chiminya and Talent Mabika.
Allegations are that Joseph and his accomplice, war veteran Kainos Kitsiyatota Zimunya petrol-bombed Chiminya and Mabika’s vehicle during the run up to the 2000 parliamentary elections.
The High Court ordered that Joseph be brought to book, but since then he has not been prosecuted.Post published in: News