BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
VILLAGERS in Munyuki, Zaka, Masvingo province have petitioned Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, asking him to intervene in a case where Chief Ndanga is accused of grabbing land and manipulating local police officers.
In the petition dated August 26, villagers accused Chief Ndanga of using his background as a former Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer to influence the police.
“We would like to file a complaint against Zaka Police Station officers and Masvingo East Dispol officials, who we feel are working to gratify a former CID member who, by the time he resigned, was a detective inspector,” the petition read.
“Following a still under court land dispute involving Chief Ndanga, born Wilson Makono, who is a former member of CID and Munyuki village head Vengai Muturiki, Makono family members ploughed fields under Munyuki village.
“The case was reported at Zaka Police Station and the police have failed to properly investigate and follow up (the matter).
“There has not been a docket for the unlawful detention and for the agricultural loss as a result of plants that were ploughed down.”
The villagers alleged that Chief Ndanga bribed one Assistant Inspector Moyo to manhandle Muturiki, who was released after intervention of a lawyer.
“A follow-up was done through the Masvingo East Dispol’s office and we spoke to Superintendent Sibanda, who referred us back to Assistant Inspector Moyo, who took sides rather than assist us.
“We phoned him and he promised to come back with feedback but never lived to that.
“For our own safety and the public good, we would like to hear what steps are being taken to address Zaka police officers’ misconduct.
“Accountability in the police force is key to healthy law enforcement,” the petition read.
Chief Ndanga denied that he was influencing the police to terrorise villagers.
“How can an individual influence the police? They are an institution. The police have not approached me with any inquiries,” he said.
The villagers last year accused Chief Ndanga of grabbing land, and forcing villagers under other chiefs to join his dominion in order for him to meet the threshold of 45 households per jurisdiction.
At the time, he was said to only have 25 households under his jurisdiction.
He was accused of using force to relocate villagers from Munyuki village to his Nyika village.
Matanga is yet to respond to the petition.
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