Chi­huri con­demns AG’s of­fice

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqobile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

PO­LICE Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Dr Au­gus­tine Chi­huri has said the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice has some­times been found want­ing when han­dling crim­i­nal cases, es­pe­cially fol­low­ing re­cent vi­o­lent protests.

He was speak­ing dur­ing a Pub­lic Or­der and Se­cu­rity Act meet­ing held with mem­bers of the AG’s of­fice last Fri­day in Harare.

The meet­ing was at­tended by the AG Ad­vo­cate Prince Machaya and his le­gal team, the deputy com­mis­sioner gen­er­als God­win Matanga, An­drew Mat­i­biri, Levi Sibanda and Josephine Sham­bare as well as the di­rec­tor le­gal ser­vices Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Eve Mlilo and of­fi­cers com­mand­ing dis­tricts and prov­inces.

The meet­ing touched on how the po­lice have re­sponded to re­cent op­po­si­tion demon­stra­tions and what they ex­pect from other play­ers in­volved in fight­ing crime.

Dr Chi­huri said it was wor­ry­ing that some mem­bers of the pub­lic were dis­re­gard­ing the law. He slammed op­po­si­tion par­ties for fu­elling vi­o­lent demon­stra­tions which have been char­ac­terised by loot­ing, burn­ing of prop­erty and beat­ing up of in­no­cent cit­i­zens.

He said it was wor­ry­ing that the courts were con­tin­u­ously ap­prov­ing demon­stra­tions that turn out to be vi­o­lent.

“There is no doubt that some cases brought be­fore the courts are spu­ri­ous, friv­o­lous and de­lib­er­ately de­signed to ren­der the reg­u­lat­ing authorities pow­ers un­der POSA re­dun­dant. At times there are oc­ca­sions when we feel facts are not prop­erly rep­re­sented or that the AG’s of­fice has acted uni­lat­er­ally on their own vo­li­tion with­out rep­re­sent­ing our in­ter­ests and those of in­no­cent cit­i­zens go­ing about their daily chores and the na­tion at large,” said Dr Chi­huri.

He said cases should be con­vinc­ingly ar­gued be­fore the courts and the law should take its right­ful po­si­tion in so­ci­ety by pro­tect­ing all cit­i­zens and not a few who have fi­nan­cial means.

No amount of neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity Dr Chi­huri said, will de­ter the po­lice from ex­e­cut­ing their du­ties.

He said de­spite neg­a­tive views and bi­ased re­port­ing by some sec­tions of the me­dia, po­lice have re­sponded with great re­straint and pro­fes­sion­al­ism to most vi­o­lent protests amid in­tense provo­ca­tion.

“I’m aware of ex­ag­ger­a­tions about ex­ces­sive use of min­i­mum force as­cribed to the po­lice by the var­i­ous so­cial me­dia cat­a­pulted by hordes of smart phones that have turned most hooli­gans into crime cor­re­spon­dents,” said Dr Chi­huri.

He warned those who want to be in­volved in vi­o­lent protests that the po­lice would deal with them.

“To our broth­ers and sis­ters ad­vo­cat­ing for vi­o­lence, they should take heed of a well-known African say­ing ‘if one rat­tles a snake, then he or she should be pre­pared to be bit­ten by it’ . . . those who do not want trou­ble with the law should equally not trou­ble the law,” he said. — @nqot­shili

Comm Gen Dr Au­gus­tine Chi­huri

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