Augustine Chihuri

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Augustine Chihuri
Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri
Born (1953-03-10) March 10, 1953 (age 63)
Harare, Zimbabwe
Residence Harare, Zimbabwe.
Occupation
Years active 1994–present
Religion Christianity
Spouse(s) Isabel

Augustine Chihuri is the current Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General. He is an ex-combatant who received his military training at Mgagao in Tanzania. He took over the reigns as acting commissioner in 1991 replacing Henry Mukurazhizha.[1] Two years later he eventually became substantive police commissioner in 1993. In 2008 he was appointed to his current position and had his term extended by four years. He is the longest police chief at the helm with 23 years having been rewarded with a contract renewal over 13 times since 1997.[2]

Background

Augustine Chihuri was born on the 10th of March in 1953.

Education

In August 2015, Chihuri graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Mount Camel Institute of Business. His thesis The History of Policing in Zimbabwe will be released as a book on 25 September 2015.[3]

Before Zimbabwe's Independence

Chihuri was a member of the Zimbabwe People's Army and was imprisoned along with other ZIPA leadership after a meeting convened by Samora Machel where Robert Mugabe was present.

Allegiance to Zanu-PF

In a move that sparked controversy, for a police commissioner, Chihuri openly declared his allegiance to the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) in 2001 and continued to do so for much of his career as police commissioner afterwards. Chihuri threatened to sack all senior police officers who were accused of backing the opposition party MDC-T.[4]

Chihuri also said that members of the ZRP who did not support Zanu-PF should leave the force and that he himself would not serve under an MDC government.[5]

Regardless of publicly announcing his allegiance to ZANU PF under Mugabe, Chihuri was implicated as being a member of the Mujuru faction when the battle to succeed Mugabe intensified before the party's 6th Congress which was held in Harare in December 2014. It was reported that, service chiefs were supporting Joice Mujuru who was accused of harbouring ambitions to oust Mugabe from being the country's president as well as the party's first secretary.[6] It was reported that on 18 November 2014, Chihuri tendered his resignation letter to Mugabe after Mugabe had earlier on expressed his displeasure with his work.[7]

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Reports also circulated that Mugabe had indicated that he was not keen to extend Chihuri's contract, something that he is accustomed to since Chihuri's appointment in 1994.[8] Trust Mugova was indicated as the suitable and preferred candidate to replace Chihuri. The issue to oust Chihuri and his accomplice subsided. Chihuri was forced to announce that he was not aligned to the Mujuru faction and Charity Charamba (current Police Spokesperson of ZRP) issued a press statement dismissing allegations that the police force was behind Mujuru.[9]

On 13 January 2015, it was reported that, some ZANU PF hawks targeting security chiefs began to call for Chihuri ouster.[9] They claimed that he failed to repent, thus remaining closely associated with ousted Mujuru, necessitating his failure to arrest Mujuru as well as ordering investigations on corruption allegations levelled against his so called erstwhile supporter. Chihuri vowed to take into consideration Mugabe's calls to bring to book those accused of being corrupt at Morris Depot during the last pass out of 566 graduands.[10] Chihuri's stance was viewed as a move to exonerate himself from being aligned to the 'now defunct' Mujuru faction.

Health Problems

Chihuri collapsed during the three hour parade for new recruits in May 2014. It was reported that he collapsed while standing next to President Robert Mugabe and was immediately taken away on a stretcher to receive mediccal attention.[11] He returned to his seat 30 minutes after being attended to by Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr. Douglas Mombeshora and a team of paramedics. After returning to his seat Chihuri apologised to Mugabe and the nation for the mishap. He also commended Mugabe's fitness as they had gone through the same paces for three hours and Mugabe had not shown any signs of weariness.[12]

Scandals

In 2013 he was accused of fraud by other police officers. He allegedly integrated more than 15,000 unqualified civilian personnel and went ahead to give them force numbers. Some of them were said to have been promoted to the ranks of Sergeants and Assistant Inspectors, despite having not even sat for the mandatory promotional examinations.[13] These are said to have been untrained civilians and ZANU PF youth militia.

In June 2014, it was reported that Chihuri illegally forced Bazil Nyapokoto (a detective within the ZRP) to resign after he testified against the police force. The police force agreed to pay damages amounting to US$64 000 to Nyapokoto within two months.[14] Nyapokoto petitioned the president to intervene as the police force was reluctant to own up to its promise.[15]

On 6 November 2014, Justice Lavender Makoni of the High Court of Zimbabwe, ordered Chihuri and Kembo Mohadi to pay US$3 500 to Fatima Manhondo following her unwarranted attacks by the police force in October 2014.[16] Chihuri and Mohadi failed to appear in court.

In January 2015 Chihuri together with Mohadi were accused of failing to respect a court order from the High Court of Zimbabwe which mandated them to protect villagers at Arnold Farm in Mazowe District from being forcibly evicted from the farm to pave way for Grace Mugabe who was claimed to be the new owner of the farm.[17] This move was viewed as an attempt by Chihuri to prove that he was still loyal to Mugabe by supporting his wife to 'illegal' seize control of Arnold Farm.

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References

  1. Mugove Tafirenyika, Chihuri collapses at parade, DailyNews, Published: 30 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  2. Moses Matenga, Chihuri collapses, 'NewsDay', Publishsed: 30 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  3. Daniel Nemukuyu, Chihuri graduates, Herald, Published: August 4, 2015, Retrieved: August 4, 2015
  4. 27 MDC officials arrested, Financial Gazette, Published:12 July 2001, Retrieved:8 June 2014
  5. Eddie Cross, A Letter to R.M., Eddie Cross personal blog, Published:28 December 2005, Retrieved:8 June 2014
  6. Elias Mlambo, Security chiefs face purging, Zimbabwe Independent, published:21 Nov 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  7. Tawanda Manjoni, Mugabe forces Chihuri to retire, The Zimbabwean, published:26 Nov 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  8. Nunurai Jena, Chihuri, Chiwenga contracts expire, Southern Eye, published:5 Dec 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fungi Kwaramba, Zanu PF hawks target Chihuri, Daily News, published:12 Jan 2015,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  10. Feluna Nleya, Police boss Chihuri vows to swoop on Mujuru camp, NewsDay, published:19 Dec 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  11. Chihuri collapses at pass out parade, 'Nehanda Radio', Published: 29 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  12. Chihuri apologises after fall, 'Herald', Published: 30 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  13. Mxolisi Ncube, Top cops accuse Chihuri of fraud, 'The Zimbabwean', Published: 6 Mar 2013, Retrieved: 29 May 2014
  14. Richard Muponde, Chihuri threatened with arrest, Southern Eye, published:29 Jun 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  15. Moses Matenga, Cop reports Chihuri to Mugabe, Southern Eye, published:22 Jul 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  16. Charles Laiton, Mohadi, Chihuri ordered to pay, Southern Eye, published:6 Nov 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  17. Blessing Zulu, Villagers want minister and police chief arrested over Grace Mugabe evictions, Nehanda Radio, published:11 Jan 2015,retrieved:13 January 2015"