The Zimbabwe Republic Police has effected yet more changes in the force, with senior officers in the Police Protection Unit (PPU) — who were providing security to the Mugabes — being redeployed.
This was revealed last week in a police radio announcement.
PPU — comprising five sections namely Parliament, relief, diplomats, escorts, and State House — specialises in providing security to VVIPs, VIPs and members of the diplomatic corps.
The latest changes mainly affected the State House section and those who were assigned at deposed Robert Mugabe’s private residence.
The radio message read: “The . . . transfers have been approved and are to be implemented immediately.”
“Please submit casualty returns as soon as transfers are effected.”
The changes affected senior officers who had been providing close security to the Mugabes — PPU Commissioner Olga Bungu, who has moved to Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) as Commissioner for Economic Surveillance.
Economic Surveillance did not have a commissioner before, so this is a new post created.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Martin Kwainona, who was Mugabe’s aide, has been moved from PPU and posted to PGHQ to the Economic Surveillance section.
Assistant Commissioner Vincent Mariga has also been moved from PPU to Depot as Assistant Commissioner in charge of administration.
The cleansing ceremony also hit the traffic section of the police with Assistant Commissioner Ngonidzashe Chogugudza being moved from national traffic to Midlands as Assistant Commissioner in charge of operations.
Assistant Commissioner Crispen Chihwehwete in charge of Transport at PGHQ has been transferred to Midlands as Assistant Commissioner crime.
Commissioner Rabson Mpofu has been moved from Planning and Development to becoming the chief of staff in the office of the commissioner general.
Mpofu has helped the organisation in the drafting of policy and his move is seen as strengthening the office of commissioner-general Godwin Matanga.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Elliot Mind Ngirandi has been moved from Police Staff College to Planning and Development as Chief Staff Officer.
Insiders canvassed by the Daily News yesterday said the PPU changes were symptoms of the mistrust and suspicions that have become deep rooted due to the police’s stance at the height of infighting in Zanu PF before the military intervention.
During the twilight of Mugabe’s reign, intense infighting over who should succeed him saw Mnangagwa tightening his security following suspicions that his rivals may have been out to eliminate him physically in the wake of his alleged poisoning.
A long-time aide of Mugabe turned arch rival, Mnangagwa was allegedly poisoned in August 2017 at a Zanu PF youth interface “meeting” in Gwanda, resulting in him being airlifted to South Africa after brief treatment in Gweru, which was meant to stabilise his condition.
Alarm was raised after the doctor who attended to him in South Africa disclosed the extent of the damage that was caused by the alleged poisoning.
Since then, Mnangagwa has been seen in public with the military providing his close security — in addition to personnel assigned by the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation.
“This is mainly inspires by the fact that ED prefers the soldiers so those who were at the PPU first family have been reassigned,” said an insider.
“The involvement of the army is yet another demonstration that the president or his family now has little faith in the usual security.”