Cheza (50) and party activists Elias Maduveko (26), Magmaster Chidyawuye (21), Delight Zinyemba (22) and Courage Mugova (20) face a charge of inciting public violence. The accused were recently granted $500 000 bail each by Masvingo High Court judge Justice Garainesu Mawadze.

IN our Thursday issue of NewsDay, we carried a rather sobering report about junior police officers who petitioned their bosses to intervene and save them from harassment by top Zanu PF officials.

This is probably the first time in many years that police officers have stood their ground and refused to be cowed into submission by ruling party apparatchiks.  Kudos to these men and women in uniform who have realised that after all, they are not there to serve the interests of the ruling party, but Zimbabwean citizens.

Their mandate, as clearly defined in the Constitution as well as in their own charter, is to be impartial and discharge their duties without fear or favour.

As a top government official and legislator, Environment and Tourism deputy minister Barbra Rwodzi should know that police are not an appendage of Zanu PF, and neither do they take orders from ruling party honchos. Police are part of the security arms of the State and there is that need for separation of power to address the scourge of State-party conflation that had erroneously been accepted as the norm.

This is the time arms of State should stand their ground and refuse to be used in partisan politics.

Rwodzi was exposed through an audio recording while verbally assaulting a junior police officer who had opened a docket against a Zanu PF member accused of defacing opposition campaign posters.

The deputy minister, who is also the Zanu PF Chirumanzi South legislator threatened to report the police officer dealing with the matter to Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

We found it refreshing that the police top hierarchy has confirmed that the matter is already under investigation with a view to stop politicians, regardless of party affiliation, from meddling in police duties.

“We have since launched an investigation into the matter. The commissioner has already released a statement to say investigations into the matter have been launched, thus the matter is being dealt with,” national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.

 The attack on the cop by a top government official confirms public, opposition parties and civil society concerns that State institutions are captured by Zanu PF.  It’s high time this illegal and unprofessional conduct by the ruling party and those who control the echelons of power was nipped in the bud. — NewsDay

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