- Published on 27 November 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwean
Police commissioner Augustine Chihuri is to leave the force at the end of 2014 after more than 20 years at the helm, according to senior army officers, The Zimbabwean has reported.
He is to be replaced by Trust Mugova, currently a major general with the Zimbabwe National Army based at KG IV Barracks, will take over from January 2015. The sources said Chihuri had tendered his resignation following intense political pressure.
"His Excellency (President Robert Mugabe) called him and told him he was no longer happy with his leadership at ZRP and directly advised him to step down. Chihuri obliged and immediately tendered his resignation," said an army colonel on condition of anonymity.
Mugabe is reported to have quizzed the commissioner about his collapse at a police passing out parade this year before asking him if it was true that he belonged to the faction led by vice president Joice Mujuru.
Chihuri passed out during the graduation of police recruits and blamed it on a tight-fitting shoe. But there have been rumours for more than a decade that he is not in good health.
The resignation is seen as a coup for the Mnangagwa faction, which has publicly accused him of failing to arrest Mujuru for corruption. The prosecutor general, Johannes Tomana, has indicated that he will await a docket before prosecuting Mujuru.
Mugova, 56, is currently in charge of army administration and the sources described him as an affable and quiet person who is popular with the rank and file in the military for his professional approach.
Originally from Masvingo province, he owns a farm in Chivu and is a former freedom fighter. The sources said he was well educated and implied that his appointment was apparently at the Mnangagwa faction's behest.
Meanwhile, an intelligence contact indicated that the prison services boss, Paradzai Zimondi, would also be retired soon. He was not sure who would replace him, but speculated that the new prisons boss would also come from the army.
"Zimondi will be going to his farm. He seems to be a victim of the current politics. But there is a technicality as they are saying he is now past retirement age," said the source.