The Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet has arrested the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira (49) in the wake of fresh allegations of abuse of office in which he allegedly tried to protect illegal miners.
The CID boss was yesterday not asked to plead guilty following his appearance before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti charged with two counts of defeating or obstructing the course of justice and criminal abuse of office by a public officer as defined in Section 174 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9:23.
Charumbira was granted $10 000 baii, and as part of his bail conditions, he was ordered to report once every Friday at the Police General Headquarters Anti-Corruption Unit, not to interfere with State witnesses and also reside at his known address.
The state alleges that Charumbira interfered with a case in which police in Mutare had nabbed David Mucheche for illegal possession of gold weighing 1,3 kilogrammes. It is alleged that in June 2019 at around 5 am, Detective Constable Mashange, Detective Constable Chada and Detective Constable Mahere arrested Mucheche at house number 10 Blessblock, Murambi in Mutare for violating the Gold Trade Act after he was found in possession of the precious metal without a trading licence.
The gold dealer was then taken to Mutare Central Police Station where the arresting cops briefed the Officer-in-Charge Detective Inspector Felix Muchaka.
It is also alleged that, in the middle of thei briefing, a one David Cosby budged into Detective Insp Muchaka’s office and handed him a phone which had Charumbira on the opposite end of the line.
Over the phone, Charumbira allegedly ordered the police to release Mucheche and give him back his gold, before the detectives could could verify if he had a good trading licence.
By the time Charumbira called, the gold deposits had also not been recorded in police records as an exhibit. It is also reported that at that time, the police had not yet recorded a warned and cautioned statement from Mucheche.
“Detective Machaka complied with the instruction of the accused (Charumbira). The suspect was given back the gold before it was entered into official books at the station. The instruction given by the accused to Detective Inspector Machaka was unlawful and tantamount to obstructing or defeating the course of justice,” reads the charge sheet.
Last month, Charumbira was arrested for protecting Cosby who allegedly trades in gold illegally. He has a pending court case in which he is being accused of interfering with a case involving Detectives Ndlovu, Mbundire and Munyandure- all of CID Drugs, Harare- who had arrested Charles Chabata Magolise for allegedly possessing dangerous drugs.
The incident occurred on 17 December, 2015.
additional reporting: Zwnews