Chihuri condemns AG’s office
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