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Chihuri attacks private media

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Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri yesterday accused the private media of turning a blind eye to attacks on police officers.

Chihuri said the private media was instead, empathising with alleged perpetrators of violence.
The police chief’s statement was in apparent reference to the recent arrest and alleged torture of MDC-T supporters in Glen View, which grabbed local and international newspaper headlines.

The MDC-T activists are accused of murdering a senior police officer, Petros Mutedzi, whom the State says was murdered while executing his duties.

“When police officers are brutally murdered by the same people who are accusing ZRP of abusing human rights, there is deafening silence by their mouthpiece, particularly the private media and those given to loud-mouthing, which ironically seems to suddenly get its voice when the perpetrators of such gruesome murders are lawfully arrested and detained,” Chihuri said.

“It is therefore exceedingly vital for the private media and the imaginary people it purports to represent to appreciate that police officers are human beings and as such they are entitled to human rights.”

The Commissioner-General said the police would not be deterred from executing their duties.

“Allow me to take this opportunity to remind all Zimbabweans that police officers have a legal right to defend themselves when they are illegally attacked in the course of their duties,” he said.

“As police officers, we have the constitutional mandate of maintaining law and order in the country and this can only be achieved through maximum cooperation by members of the public.”

Chihuri was speaking at a passout parade of 473 police officers in Harare yesterday.

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