POLICE yesterday said they would soon hold a Press conference to clarify the contentious issue of serving security sector officers who have entered the political fray, seeking to represent Zanu PF in the forthcoming elections.
REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU/TATENDA CHITAGU
In open breach of the new Constitution, scores of serving members of the uniformed forces and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) have finally come out into the open about their political allegiance after submitting CVs to represent Zanu PF in polls tentatively set for next month.
“I can’t comment on this now. We will hold a Press conference to clarify everything,” national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said yesterday.
Not a single member from the security sector, widely accused of being partisan, is contesting on tickets of parties opposed to the former sole ruling party.
Among those vying for parliamentary and senatorial seats were police officers, including Assistant Commissioner Oliver Mandipaka and Senior Assistant Commissioner Ronald Muderedzwa who will lock horns for the Buhera West House of Assembly seat.
CIO operative Francis Mukwangwariwa is targeting Manyame while his colleague Lesley Humbe is eyeing Masvingo South.
Humbe, who intended to contest against Tourism and Hospitality minister Walter Mzembi, was, however, disqualified after allegedly forging a transfer letter from Zanu PF Mutare province, NewsDay established yesterday.
Although Humbe could not be reached for comment, NewsDay is in possession of a letter from Zanu PF Manicaland provincial secretary for administration Kenneth Saruchera addressed to the Masvingo provincial chairman, Lovemore Matuke, disowning the transfer letter. Part of the letter, dated June 17 and copied to Manicaland provincial chair and Humbe, reads: “Please be advised that the application to transfer to Masvingo region by Lesman Humbe has not yet been considered by the provincial executive council. Any letters in respect of his transfer are invalid.”
Zanu PF Masvingo secretary for administration Edmund Mhere confirmed Humbe had been disqualified for “unprocedural” behaviour.
“He has been disqualified because he did not follow the proper party procedure,” Mhere said.
By the time of going to print yesterday, the total number of serving security forces members contesting in the polls could not be established although many believe a lot more were in the running.
This is, however, in breach of the new Constitution which stipulates that such officers remain apolitical.
Section 208 of the Sixth Schedule of the new Constitution prohibits them from seeking political offices.
“Neither the security services nor any of their members may, in the exercise of their functions, act in a partisan manner, further the interests of a political party or cause, prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause,” reads the new governance charter.
“Members of the security services must not be active members or office-bearers of any political party, or organisation. . . Serving members of the security services must not be employed or engaged in civilian institutions except in periods of public emergency.”