Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira is the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Director with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Investigating Crimes involving senior politicians
In November 2017, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) assembled a special unit to investigate crimes allegedly committed by then ousted vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa during his long tenure in office. The unit was led by Assistant Commissioner Crispen Charumbira, includes Superintendent Nyambo Viera (CID Law and Order), Chief Superintendent Nyaradzai Majachani (CID Property Section) and Chief Superintendent Ngena (Law and Order). The case, which they were investigating against Mnangagwa, span alleged obstruction of justice, corruption, attempted murder and murder.
Sources said police had zeroed in on four cases of alleged murder in which Mnangagwa was implicated. Police were also to open other cases against Mnangagwa in weeks following his ouster as his woes mounted. Some of the specific cases included the alleged murder of a woman linked to the former vice-president, attempted murder of former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news presenter Godfrey Majonga, looting of Zanu PF companies and the Kwekwe goldfields deals and associated murders there.
CID director Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira was arrested on 24 September 2020 on allegations of accepting protection money from drug and gold dealers to stop criminal investigations. He was arrested by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) after seven of his junior officers alleged he had been interfering with their duties by protecting drug and gold dealers after accepting bundles of US dollars in protection money. Comm Charumbira was picked up for questioning by Sacu officers in the morning before being taken to Morris Depot for further investigations and last night was detained at Rhodesville Police Station. He was expected to appear in court on 26 September 2020.
Head of SACU, Mr Tabani Mpofu (SACU), said he was still checking for the details of the matter. However, among the allegations is one dating from the days Comm Charumbira was CID co-ordinator for Harare. According to the complaints, three detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics arrested two Mufakose drug dealers, Norman Chabata and his brother Charles, after raiding their Mufakose home where they recovered 443g of dagga packed in sachets and bottles of BronCleer cough syrup.
While at the scene, it is alleged that they received a call from Comm Charumbira ordering them to release the two. Their immediate boss told them to instead follow the proper procedures and proceed with the investigations. They were all later allegedly summoned by Comm Charumbira who informed them that their days at CID Drugs were numbered and should brace for transfers. The three compiled the dockets and saw the two tried with Charles Chabata given an eight-month jail term and Norman Chabata a US$100 fine by Harare Magistrates Court.
But the three detectives were transferred to CID Chiredzi, CID Lupane and CID Mount Darwin. After a complaint to CID Headquarters they were transferred back to CID Harare but understood they might still be sent to stations outside the city.
Other reports on his arrest
Three police officers, including Chrispen Charumbira, who were actively involved in the arrest of Dylish Nguwaya, the Zimbabwean representative of Drax International LLC, a company implicated in the US$60 million COVID-19 equipment procurement scam, have been arrested. According to Newsday, Sacu investigators arrested Criminal Investigations Department head Chrispen Charumbira and his two subordinates Superintendent Naboth Nyachega and Obeylaw Moyo.It is understood that on May 14, Nyachenga wrote to Finance secretary George Guvamatanga raising a red flag over suspected money laundering in the Drax saga.
Nyachenga was the investigating officer in the Drax case where Nguwaya was arrested by Moyo. Charumbira sanctioned the arrest. Charumbira was last night detained at Rhodesville Police Station while the whereabouts of Moyo and Nyachenga could not be established.
CID Director Chrispen Charumbira remanded in custody to the 8th of October 2020. Charumbira is facing three counts; obstructing the course of justice and criminal abuse of office. He appeared before Harare Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa on 26 September 2020.
On 1 October 2020, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira has been granted $10 000 bail pending trial on charges of criminal abuse of office, by the High Court. Charumbira is facing three counts of attempting to defeat the course of justice was on Saturday 26 September 2020 remanded in custody to October 8 when he appeared before Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa on Saturday.
His lawyer Advocate Sylvester Hashiti instructed by Mr Tabison Bvekwa, opted to apply for bail at the High Court after the State indicated its intention to oppose his application. Justice Pisirayi Kwenda allowed Charumbira’s application for bail saying the State had failed to establish compelling reasons to deny the top cop bail.
- Mashudu Netsianda, , Chronicle, Published: 10 December, 2018, Accessed: 26 September, 2020
- , Zimbabwe Independent, Published: 10 November, 2017, Accessed: 26 September, 2020
- , The Herald, Published: 25 September, 2020, Accessed: 26 September, 2020
- , Newsday, Published: 25 September, 2020, Accessed: 26 September, 2020
- ZBC, , ZBC News Online, Published: 26 September, 2020, Accessed: 26 September, 2020