Interpol, the international police organisation has refused to cooperate with Zimbabwe authorities in the apprehension and repatriation of former local government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, who is believed to be hiding in South Africa.

In a letter to authorities in Zimbabwe, Interpol said all requests for a placement of an individual on a red notice are forwarded to its Notices and Diffusions Task Force to ensure that they comply with the organisation’s constitution and rules, in particular Article 3 according to which “it is strictly forbidden for the organisation to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military or racial character.”

Interpol said after a request to issue a red notice for Kasukuwere in May, it considered “the status of the person, the nature of the offence, the general context of the case and the implications for the neutrality of the organisation.”

It concluded:

“In view of the above and taking into account the neutrality of the organisation, it is considered that the request may engage the organisation in matters, which would bring into question its neutrality according to article 3 of Interpol’s constitution.

“As a result, the General Secretariat is not in a position to publish the red notice against Mr Kasukuwere and the information concerning the individual will be deleted from Interpol’s databases.”

Interpol said its conclusions should not be read as a challenge of the validity of any criminal proceedings launched against Kasukuwere, nor an interference with the independence of Zimbabwean judicial authorities.