Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone yesterday accused Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri of stifling professionalism of the police force because of his alleged allegiance to Zanu PF.
Addressing party supporters at a rally in Norton yesterday, Makone, who is also MDC-T Women Assembly chairperson, said Chihuri must go to allow the police force to operate professionally.
“Chihuri has no place in a new Zimbabwe and must go,” she said.
Police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena could not be reached for comment yesterday, but his deputy, Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, said he was “busy”.
Makone also labelled Commander of 3 Brigade, Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, “a fool who cannot distinguish his role as an army officer and that of a civilian”.
Recently, Nyikayaramba declared he would never salute Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai even if he wins presidential elections.
“To the police who happen to be my children, the problem is people have lost confidence in you. People say you are not arresting criminals. ZRP is among the best, but only one person (Chihuri) is destroying them and he has no place in a new Zimbabwe,” she said.
“He thinks he can be a Zanu PF commissar in police uniform. People know who burnt their houses and want them arrested, but they won’t because they are Zanu PF. They will be arrested and we want them to tell us who sent them,” said Makone in reference to the burning of a house belonging to Norton MP and MDC-T vice-chairperson for Chitungwiza province Edward Musumbu.
“Police to the police stations and soldiers to their barracks. We don’t want people like (Muammar) Gaddafi who thinks soldiers must die for him. We need a soldier who dies for the people, not for (President Robert) Mugabe or (Prime Minister) Tsvangirai,” she said.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told the same gathering the MDC-T was not a violent party, but would retaliate if attacked saing the biblical eye-for-an eye principle would apply if need be.
“Don’t beat up Zanu PF supporters. If you see them in their regalia or singing, don’t beat them up, but know there is something called self-defence,” he said.
Meanwhile, MDC-T supporters in Harare were yesterday forced to call off a campaign rally scheduled for Glen View after police gave them stringent requirements to follow.
MDC-T Harare provincial spokesperson Obert Gutu said they had to cancel the rally at the last minute after police insisted it was to be concluded in two-and-a-half hours.