Villagers in the Munyuki area of Zaka, Masvingo Province, have petitioned Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, pleading with him to intervene and end the “capture” of police officers by a traditional leader who is a former top detective.
In the petition dated 26 August, villagers accused Chief Ndanga of using his background as a former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer to influence the police. They wrote:
We would like to file a complaint against Zaka Police Station officers and Masvingo East Dispol officials, who we feel are working to gratify a former CID member who, by the time he resigned, was a detective inspector.
Following a still under court land dispute involving Chief Ndanga, born Wilson Makono, who is a former member of CID and Munyuki village head Vengai Muturiki, Makono family members ploughed fields under Munyuki village.
The case was reported at Zaka Police Station and the police have failed to properly investigate and follow up (the matter).
There has not been a docket for the unlawful detention and for the agricultural loss as a result of plants that were ploughed down.
The villagers alleged that Chief Ndanga bribed one Assistant Inspector Moyo to manhandle Muturiki, who was released after the intervention of a lawyer. The petition read:
A follow-up was done through the Masvingo East Dispol’s office and we spoke to Superintendent Sibanda, who referred us back to Assistant Inspector Moyo, who took sides rather than assist us.
We phoned him and he promised to come back with feedback but never lived to that.
For our own safety and the public good, we would like to hear what steps are being taken to address Zaka police officers’ misconduct.
However, Chief Ndanga denied that he was influencing the police to terrorise villagers querying how a mere individual could influence a whole institution.
Matanga is yet to respond to the petition.