24 June 2012

Zimbabwe: PM Tsvangirai Reads Riot Act to Chiefs, Police

Silobela — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday read the riot act to partisan traditional chiefs and police officers who are abusing their positions to prop Zanu PF in rural areas.

Addressing villagers in Midlands province's Silobela area during a tour of Constituency Development Fund projects, Tsvangirai said traditional leaders should concentrate on developing their communities instead of meddling in politics.

"Those who are here, go and tell the other chiefs and headmen who did not come that the days of meddling in politics are gone," he said. "If you are a chief you should not select who you serve."

Traditional leaders have caught the ire of the MDC formations in the inclusive government for openly declaring their allegiance to Zanu PF and vowing to protect the party's interests in their jurisdictions.

Speaking at the same occasion, Home Affairs co-minister, Theresa Makone, warned that partisan traditional leaders and police officers who meddled in politics would now risk getting arrested.

"There are some police officers who are still living in a dream world of the pre-2008 era, who think they belong to political parties yet they should be apolitical," she said.

Makone said partisan police officers were refusing to act against certain people who were committing crimes because of political reasons.

"I want to say to you (villagers), take down the names of all police officers and their station and forward the names to me through your councillor or legislator so that they can be brought to book for violating the Police Act," she said.

"Such police officers don't deserve to be in the force, we are going to arrest them."

However, Police Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri and other security chiefs have declared their allegiance to Zanu PF, vowing that they would not salute anyone without liberation credentials, referring to Tsvangirai.

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