A 2008 political violence report jointly produced by a former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative – now a lecturer at Bindura University – Obediah Dodo, claims police were under instruction not to arrest Zanu PF perpetrators.
Report by Everson Mushava
Dodo was arrested on November 19 alongside his student, Assistant Inspector Collen Musorowegomo, for allegedly publishing false statements after their report was published by an American website.
The former CIO operative is a lecturer for peace and governance studies, while Musorowegomo is a Masters degree student in the same department.
The report used to charge them was published by the American International Journal of Contemporary Research in June.
Both Dodo and Musorowegomo have admitted authoring the document, adding it was based on real reports obtained from police records. They are both seeking immunity under the Academic Act, saying the report was purely for academic purposes.
According to the report titled: “Political Intolerance, Diversity and Democracy: Youths Violence in Bindura Urban Zimbabwe,” the two revealed that many cases of violence went unreported because police had been disempowered technically.
The two were charged under Section 31(a) of the criminal law (Codification) Act Chapter 9,23, which outlaws publication of false information prejudicial to the State. Part of the report reads: “According to the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police), most of the criminal cases (assault, arson, rape and kidnap) went unreported as victims feared more reprisals and the fact that during that period, the police force had been disempowered technically as they could not handle any case to do with politics.”
The report said MDC-T supporters fled their homes after realising that they were overwhelmed by “security forces-led Zanu PF youths” while others joined Zanu PF as a way of “camouflaging for the protection and security from Zanu PF reprisals”.
It claims Zanu PF recruited over 530 youths in the district and set up torture bases throughout Bindura where opposition supporters were tortured while their homes were destroyed.
Dodo and Musorowegomo cited a case where an MDC supporter, identified as Ms Longwe, was tortured to death at her home by an alleged Zanu PF base commander in Bindura’s Chipadze suburb (name given).
“Most of the destruction took place at the residence of the MDC activists, who would have long fled to Harare for refuge,” the report claims.
“Ms Longwe was found preparing her meal. She was forced on the fire and monitored to death by Zanu PF members,” claimed the report.
“While both parties were largely to blame, police respondents said it was largely Zanu PF as it had and controlled all the hard power. Police respondents indicated that they were simply praying that the phase passed so that normalcy could be experienced again without plunging into a civil war or some kind of insurgency.”
But the State claimed police have since denied providing records for the alleged project.