Chombo dockets vanish

HARARE – In a development that has raised eyebrows, dockets implicating wealthy local government minister Ignatius Chombo as well as senior Harare City Council and Zanu PF officials in land scams in the capital city have mysteriously vanished from Harare Central Police Station.\r\n

Police, who claimed to be in the dark about the issue, said yesterday that they would investigate the baffling disappearance of the dockets.

The disappearance of the dockets comes at a time when Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Sadc have expressed grave concerns at the selective application of the law in Zimbabwe — in which MDC officials and supporters are continually harassed and arrested on trivial and trumped-up charges.

Last week, the Elected Councillors Association of Zimbabwe (ECAZ), in conjunction with the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) lodged a complaint against the city’s director of urban planning, Psychology Chiwanga, who allegedly assisted in the illegal purchase of land in Glen Lorne by Chombo.

But ECAZ officials were shocked yesterday when they were told by officers at Harare Central Police Station that the dockets that had been compiled were nowhere to be seen.

Police spokesperson inspector James Sabau said he had not yet been briefed about the missing dockets but promised that police would investigate the matter.

“We are not aware of the said missing documents. That is what they are telling you. We will receive many dockets a day,” Sabau said.

ECAZ had further lodged a complaint with the police against Killian Mpingo, Tendai Mahachi, Josephine Ncube, Chiwanga, Michael Mahachi and Nemera – alleging that they had fraudulently used a resolution that awarded Zanu PF official Tendai Savanhu an industrial stand, to award themselves stands. The docket for this case had also disappeared.

What has raised eyebrows in both cases is that police have consistently refused to arrest or investigate a myriad of allegations against Chombo, who has in the last decade reportedly accumulated more than 100 stands and houses from local authorities across the country – making him one of wealthiest and biggest property magnets in the country.

Alarmed ECAZ officials yesterday wrote a letter to the police demanding a probe into the disappearance of the dockets.

“On the 6th of May 2011 we visited the Harare central police station room number 151 where we were told that dockets IR050250 and IR050251 were missing and were referred to room 143 where we met Sergeant Mutemeri,” reads part of the letter to the police.

ECAZ further alleges that on May 9 2011, they went back to the police station where they were referred to an inspector Chiwi who said he needed time to consult his bosses regarding the matter and advised them to return the following day.

“On the 10th of May 2011, we visited inspector Chiwi and he was emotional about the issue to the extent that he refused to refer us to any office. He said he had nothing to do with our cases; instead he decided to say he did not want to be involved in such cases,” the letter adds.

The councillors said the police were engaging in selective application of the law since they choose who to prosecute and who to not prosecute.

“What makes this case serious is that on March 3 2011, you received a complaint against Dr.I.C Chombo’s fraudulent instruction to make a payment of US$42 000.00 to a Shumba-led investigation team which was not formally constituted and you did not respond in seven days as provided by the ZRP Service Charter item 1.4 and up to now nothing has happened,” ECAZ said.

“We are of the view that the public deserves an explanation as to why you have not acted on the reports that have been levelled against minister Chombo and the city council officials.

“We therefore hereby request from you to explain to the public as to why the police have not accorded the cases against Chombo and City Council Officials the seriousness they deserve,” said ECAZ in the letter addressed to the officer commanding Harare Province, Garikai Gwangwava. – Daily News

\r\n