By Clayton Shereni
A POLICE officer who was leading investigations in the case of political violence in Bikita involving Zanu PF candidate for Bikita South, Energy Mutodi who allegedly fired live rounds to disrupt a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally on July 6, has been transferred with immediate effect in what the civic society has labeled a ‘politically motivated’ transfer, Centre News has learnt.
In a leaked internal police communication dated July 14, Constable Tapiwa Chiweshe, has since been transferred to Camps and Hotels in Masvingo city and is expected to report for duty and submit casualty returns on July 26, 2023, at his new post.
Chiweshe and seven other officers; sergeants and constables from Zaka, Gutu, and Bikita districts have since been transferred to various stations across the province.
However, the move to transfer Chiweshe comes at a time he is at the center of an investigation of political violence accusations against gun totting Mutodi.
Political activist, John Mupanduki filed a police report against Mutodi under RRB 5583028 and the case is reportedly still under investigation.
Mupanduki feels the case will die a natural death after Chiweshe’s transfer.
“No justice is going to be served. Cst Chiweshe was the one who volunteered to investigate the case after all his command had refused to take action against Mutodi. Cst Chiweshe’s transfer is not just an ordinary transfer, it is politically motivated and it comes after his move for justice. Once Chiweshe is transferred, then the case will be given to another person who will obey the police boss’ unlawful commands and kill the case prematurely,” said Mupanduki.
Contacted for comment, Energy Mutodi declined to comment referring all questions to Zanu PF provincial chairperson Robson Mavhenyengwa.
However, Mavhenyengwa’s phone went unanswered up until the time of publishing.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson, Obert Masaraure bemoaned the development saying it was meant to derail the investigations into Mutodi’s case.
“The ZANU PF regime has reduced our police service to a pawn for the ruling party. Transferring Chiweshe is meant to pour cold water on the investigations into the alleged violent conduct of Energy Mutodi. A message is being sent to junior officers that ruling party officials are untouchable. The ruling party members are immune to arrest and have the green light to engage in violent conduct,” said Masaraure.
He also bemoaned the continuous incarceration of Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume which he said are a clear sign of the lack of justice and rule of law.
“It’s so sad that we have Job Sikhala and Ngarivhume in prison accused of inciting violence yet we have a candidate who allegedly fired at a crowd is still free. Democracy is in peril and everyday ZANU PF spends in office Democracy retreats and authoritarianism advances,” added Masaraure.
Contacted for comment, Masvingo police spokesperson, Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa could not be drawn to comment as he was said to be busy attending to other issues.
A top police officer in the province, Officer Commanding Operations Assistant Commissioner Florence Marume busted a lithium syndicate in recent months but was listed for transfer a few weeks later.
However, after a public outcry over her transfer, the move was shelved and she was ordered to stay put in Masvingo.
Ass Comm Marume’s ‘attempted’ transfer was widely regarded as politically motivated as she allegedly busted a heavily politically connected group of suspected lithium syndicates.