POLICE officers who brutalised illegal mining operators in Chiyadzwa were sanctioned, a retired senior police cop has said.
Retired police commissioner who was responsible for the operations, Mekia Tanyanyiwa disclosed this before Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Mines and Energy yesterday dismissing his former bosses’ first statements that they were not aware of the deployment.
First to give oral evidence before the committee were deputy commissioner general responsible for crime Josephine Shambare, deputy commissioner general responsible for human resources who was responsible for operations, Innocent Matibiri and two junior officers based at Mutare rural district and police station.
The Mines and Energy Parliamentary Portfolio committee was gathering oral evidence on the whereabouts of the missing $15 billion realised in the mining of diamonds in Chiyadzwa.
“I understand very well why the senior officers are afraid of telling the truth since they would put their jobs at stake,” said Tanyanyiwa.
“Some of us we were retired during midnight and I would like this committee to take that into consideration when the senior police officers do want to come open with these issues.
“It is important to tell the truth before this parliamentary portfolio committee and I am doing this because I have nothing to lose since I left the organisation.
“We had to arrange transport, fuel and allowances for the officers we deployed and at one time police general headquarters had to chip in with allowances.
“I was the commissioner responsible for operations and in police nothing is done without informing your superiors so everything was documented and filed and I am the one who briefed deputy commissioner general Matibiri and the current commissioner general signed the document.
“If they are denying this maybe they were not in office when the documents were signed,” said Tanyanyiwa leaving the gallery in stitches.
Retired police commissioner Oliver Chibage dismissed speculation that he amassed wealth from police mining in Chiyadzwa saying that apart from benefiting from land reform programme through which he applied for bank loans, he had no other benefits.
“It’s very unfortunate that the way of African thinking on people who prosper is that they think ane zvikwambo, is a witch or is a thief but as for me I am a beneficiary of the land reform programme.
“We can never acknowledge successful initiatives by our fellow citizens. I have 155 hectares of land and from November 2002 to mid 2003, I was the sole supplier of vegetables at the whole Fife Avenue Shopping Centre.
“I supplied many birds but when prosperity comes, malicious people started to say this one must be a thief,” said Chibage.