Police ignore order to arrest Mugabe's secret agent

The Zimbabwean police have ignored a written order from the attorney general’s department to arrest state secret agent Joseph Mwale so he could face trial for allegedly murdering two opposition activists six years ago, sources told ZimOnline.

Mwale is accused of petrol-bombing a vehicle carrying two opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party activists, Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya, in the run-up to the 2000 general election that was controversially won by President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party.

The MDC activists died as a result of the bombing but Mwale, who is a senior member of the state’s spy Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and remains employed by the secret agency, has never faced trial for murdering the opposition activists amid reports senior Zanu-PF politicians have shielded him from justice.

The attorney general’s office, which has constitutional powers to prosecute all accused of committing crime, gave police in Manicaland province, where Mwale is based, up to October 6 to hand over the secret agent for prosecution—an instruction police have so far ignored.

The attorney general’s office wrote to the police: “The accused is facing a charge of murder which was committed in the year 2000.
The docket was referred to your office with instructions that you arrest Joseph Mwale and bring him for initial remand.

“To date we have not received any information pertaining to the progress made by your office. I need to go through the docket with a view of taking up the matter with my superiors … submit the docket on or before 6 October 2006.”

Mwale however remains a free man because the police will not arrest him.

Some senior police officers who spoke to ZimOnline said inaction by police was because the Mwale case was considered sensitive and “no police officer was willing to risk their career by arresting a CIO agent accused of victimising MDC activists”.

But the same police officers, who were speaking on condition they were not named, indicated Mawle could still be brought to book if the attorney general’s office persisted in its efforts to get him arrested.

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena was not available to take questions on why the law enforcement agency has not arrested Mwale. Attorney general Sobuza Gula-Ndebele was also said to be unavailable to take questions on the matter.

Mwale, who is notorious for committing violence and torture against MDC activists in Manicaland, is a prominent campaigner for Zanu-PF during elections.

Former High Court Judge James Devittie recommended in 2001 that Mwale be tried for the murder of Chiminya and Mabika, with the judge noting that there was a strong possibility that the CIO agent could be found guilty. And in April this year, Tsvangirai wrote to the attorney general’s department requesting that Mwale be brought to court for trial. - ZimOnline

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