Dead officer described as notorious thug by vendors and police mates

HARARE – Zanu PF's Co-Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi, has come out guns blazing saying Zanu PF was considering what he called more forceful ways of dealing with perpetrators of violence following the murder of police Inspector Petros Mutedza (left picture) by assailant linked to the State intelligence agents, CIO.

Speaking on the sidelines of a function to commission new police vehicles in Harare, Mohadi said government will see to it that police officers are well-protected at all times in a bid to deal with what he called escalating cases of politically motivated violence by the MDC-T.

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He said government will not stand and watch while State security agents are losing their lives while discharging their duties, adding that security measures are being tightened.

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“It’s not change of policy as such, but we will make sure that every police officer carries a gun for protection.
It might not be an AK …, so be warned,” he said.

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Police say some rowdy MDC-T youths attacked the deceased police officer at Glen View 3 Shopping Centre after he and a colleague had gone to check on an illegal meeting which the MDC-T youths were holding there, but this has been disputed by eye witnesses who gave a different account as it points to a plotical hatchet job done by members of the State spy agents, CIO.

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Some members of the police force who spoke to our reporter said the slain Inspector Petros Mutedza, a former Boder Gezi militia, was one of few Harare police officers who doubled up duties with Zanu PF activities and some said he used to chant Zanu PF slogans on Parades, in Officers Mess and even during operation.

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They said whenever there was touble involving the MDC-T supporters, Inspector Petros Mutedza would take the lead to harras and torture them. He was also accused of spying on fellow police officers he suspected to be not taking an active roll on those attacks on the MDC-T victims.

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Members of the public said said the 42 year old Inspector Mutedza had a long history of demanding bribes and confiscating goods and is so openly corrupt he has managed to amass enough wealth to own a fleet of minibuses in Harare.

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Meanwhile, speaking on the same occasion, Police Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, said the commissioned vehicles were destined for rural areas where transport problems had virtually brought police business to a standstill.

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He said, “As police, our vehicle fleet is grounded, this is just a drop in the ocean. Anyway, I must say for now we are targeting our stations in the rural areas,” he said.

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Most criminal offences in rural areas have been left unattended owing to transport problems while some police details have been requesting transport from complainants thereby compromising their ethical conduct.

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The police force has been facing a number of challenges owing to lack of resources and he blamed the Ministry of Finance for failing to provide enough funding, and went on to mona about travel restrictions imposed by the West.

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The police loyal to Zanu PF have declared war on the MDC-T and civic society following the death of Inspector Petros Mutedza who was allegedly stoned to death in Glen View last Sunday, saying his death would not be in vain.

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The MDC-T which police accuse for the murder has, however, distanced itself from Mutedza’s death and accused the police of attempting to tarnish the image of the party.

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Commissioner Charles Mfandaidza yesterday declared war against “unruly elements” including “misguided political malcontents” in apparent reference to the MDC-T.

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“It is my strong conviction that time has come for the ZRP to declare war against unruly elements.

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ZRP shall not, and I repeat, shall not sit on its laurels while innocent citizens of this country, let alone police officers, are being decimated by uncouth opposition political elements in a naïve and imbecile attempt to make our country ungovernable,” said Mfandaidza.

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“It is quite disturbing to note that opposition political parties and some civic organisations who claim to be masters of democracy and peace are today at the helm of causing violence, maiming and murdering our unsung heroes.”

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The MDC-T accuses police of doing nothing about known Zanu PF perpetrators of violence who have allegedly killed hundreds of its supporters since 2000.

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MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said yesterday:

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“The police are acting as an appendage of Zanu PF. They want to deal with this matter in a manner that inevitably leaves the blame on MDC and we find it highly inappropriate.”