A Harare man whose photos- in both civilian and riot police gear- went viral on various social networking platforms over the weekend, amid accusations that he has been masquerading as a police officer, has told Zwnews that he is indeed a cop.

Innocent Abinara’s photos trended- albeit for wrong reasons- on social media yesterday, with some internet users even claiming that he ‘has been planted as a police officer’ by the state, ahead of the impending July 31 polls.

Although police authorities could not immediately respond to enquiries on the professional standing of Abinara, who is seen spotting visibly unkempt long hair (afro) in some of the circulating images, he in turn claimed in a telephone interview with Zwnews that he is, indeed, a police officer.

“I am definitely going to report this matter to the police. In actual fact, I am on my way to Epworth police station to make a report in connection with some ghost internet users who want to tarnish my professional image. For the record, I am a police officer based in Epworth,” he said.

“What actually happened is that someone managed to gain access to my old photos when I still had long hair- before I even joined the police force. The rogue elements are now posting the old pictures with the recent ones while garbed in riot gear to give credence to their false claims that I am a masquerade,” Abinara said.

While responding to further enquiries later on Sunday, Abinara told this publication that he filed a report in connection with the cybercrime.
Inexplicably, he was yet to avail the RRB number under which the criminal case was reported at Epworth police station.

Zimbabwean authorities have traditionally been accused of ‘planting’ assailants dressed in police uniforms to crush dissenting masses in times of protests.

And in the midst of worsening economic conditions in the southern African nation, street protests are expected to erupt in Zimbabwe this week Friday.

Various personalities viewed as fronting the July 31 protests- particularly on social media- have since been controversially arrested by police authorities in the capital, Harare.

These include hard-hitting award winning investigative journalist and filmmaker, Hopewell Chin’ono, and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.

more details to follow…