Saturday, 7 May 2016


Commissioner-General of Police Dr Augustine Chihuri yesterday sent chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, who is testifying in a case against The Sunday Mail editor Mabasa Sasa and two reporters, with a message to the court.

The message was that Comm-Gen Chihuri wants the name of the Assistant Commissioner the paper alleged to be involved in cyanide poaching.

“I have a message from the Comm-Gen of the police that we require the name of the Assistant Commissioner because we have extensively conducted investigations and failed to ascertain the truthfulness of the allegations,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.

“It was indicated in the article that once investigations are complete they will publish the name of the Assistant Commissioner. Whoever is conducting investigations I am sure by now has completed.”

Sasa, investigations editor Brian Chitemba and reporter Tinashe Farawo are accused of communicating or publishing false statements after alleging that a top cop was fingered in poaching.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba added that the article cast aspersions at the Zimbabwe Republic Police and affected the economic interest of the country. “The European Union (EU) ban which was proposed is the effect of the story although its origin was the shooting of Cecil the Lion.

“The story perpetuated the ban,” she said. “As a member of the United Nations and Interpol the story discredited ZRP in that we are supposed to fight organised crime, but we are now seen as part of the crime. As police we have the obligation to protect the environment and if a senior cop is seen involved and the system protecting him it gives an ugly picture of the police.

“People can revolt against Government if they lose confidence in the police. Until otherwise proven, the story is false. Up to now we are waiting for the name of the Asst Comm so we can proceed.”

During cross-examination, the trio’s lawyer Advocate Fadzayi Mahere asked Snr Asst Comm Charamba if she knew for certain whether an Assistant Commissioner was involved in poaching or not.

In response, Snr Asst Comm Charamba maintained that the statement was false and if the Assistant Commissioner is there, there is need for investigations.

“Commissioner-General sent you to pass the message that the statement is false yet you are not certain whether the Assistant Commissioner is or is not involved,” asked Adv Mahere.

Said Snr Asst Comm Charamba in reply: “That is why we maintain that the name of the Assistant Commissioner should be revealed so that he can be investigated together with the alleged Chinese accomplices.”

Adv Mahere told Snr Asst Comm Charamba that the police don’t have monopoly over investigations and that she was only protecting the reputation of the police.

“The police have a Constitutional mandate to investigate all such cases basing on investigations. So far, there is no such Assistant Commissioner involved.
“Information from an informer is not always correct, that is why there is need to verify,” replied Snr Asst Com Charamba.

Trial was adjourned to May 18 and prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri will be calling the second witness. herald


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