Police and CIO under fire for supporting MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti in 2018 parliamentary elections

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THE ruling Zanu PF party believes it lost Harare East constituency in the July 30 elections due to sabotage by the police and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) spy agency, this publication has gathered.

Opposition MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti coasted to a landslide victory over Zanu PF candidate and then deputy finance minister Terence Mukupe in one of the more closely watched contests of the disputed elections.

Former finance minister Biti polled 20, 592 votes against Mukupe’s 8, 593 votes in a constituency that includes the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s (ZRP) Morris and Tomlison police depots.

NewZimbabwe heard that some in Zanu PF believe Mukupe’s defeat was down to sabotage by a police force and CIO still bitter over their treatment during and after the November 2017 military coup.

ZRP and CIO bosses were seen as backing the G40 Zanu PF faction which was loyal to then president Robert Mugabe and wife Grace as the security services were corralled into the ruling party’s succession dispute.

The military was part of the Lacoste faction which rallied behind then vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

And as Mugabe was toppled by pro-Mnangagwa Generals, the ZRP ordered off the streets in a development welcomed by Zimbabweans fed up with police corruption and shakedowns at innumerate road-blocks around the country.

Social media was also awash with images of claimed police officers being manhandled by the soldiers, some being forced to seat in a queue at Parliament building in Harare as the military took over all security operations.

Mugabe has claimed that CIO operatives were killed during the coup. The allegations have also been made by exiled loyalists of the veteran leader such as former higher education minister Professor Jonathan Moyo.

The ZRP only resumed normal duties days later chaperoned by military police in an operational shift that development that has continued even after elections.

“Ordinarily, Zanu PF should not lose Harare East because of the presence of police cantonments there, but there was a reaction to November 2017,” said an official who preferred not to be identified.

The problem was also evident during the deadly August 1 post-election violence in central Harare when the police “took too long to act against the opposition protestors”.

Political analyst Mlungisi Dube said that the manner in which the military treated other security agencies during coup created animosity between the agencies which was “very dangerous” for the country.

“It confirms a lot that has been said about divisions rocking our security agencies and it is clear that after the November coup the army started side-lining other security agencies thereby creating a deadly feud with them.

“It is however, unfortunate … we expect members of the security sector to be as independent as any citizen of Zimbabwe,” said Dube.

The ZRP boss at the time Augustine Chihuri was ousted after the coup and is now thought to be living in Malawi while former CIO boss and brief justice minister Happyton Bonyongwe was also side-lined.

— NewZimbabwe


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