Augustine Chihuri is a retired Zimbabwe law enforcement officer and former Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General. He is a war veteran who received his military training at Mgagao in Tanzania[1] as well as the longest-serving police chief in Zimbabwe since Independence.[2]

Augustine Chihuri
Augustine Chihuri, Zimbabwe Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri
Born March 10, 1953
Harare, Zimbabwe
Residence Harare, Zimbabwe.
Occupation
Years active 1994–2017
Spouse(s) Isabel Chihuri

On 13 November 2017 when the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga announced that the military would not hesitate to intervene in Zanu-PF succession politics, Chihuri was notably not part of the generals present when the statement was issued, indicating that the ZRP was not on board with the threatened military takeover.


Contents

Background

Augustine Chihuri was born on the 10th of March in 1953.

Education

In August 2015, Chihuri graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Mount Camel Institute of Business. His thesis The History of Policing in Zimbabwe was released as a book on 25 September 2015.[3]

Career

Chihuri was a member of the Zimbabwe People's Army which was an attempt at unifying the two major military outfits ZANLA ZIPRA of the Nationals' parties fighting for Zimbabwe's independence, ZANU and ZAPU respectively. Chihuri was reportedly imprisoned along with other ZIPRA leadership after a meeting convened by Samora Machel where Robert Mugabe was present during the war for Zimbabwe's Independence.His name during the Second Chimurenga was "Chocha."

Chihuri has been in his position for more than 23 years having been rewarded with a contract renewal over 13 times since 1997. [2] He took over the reigns as Acting Commissioner in 1991 replacing Henry Mkurazhizha. Two years later he eventually became substantive Police Commissioner in 1993. In 2008 he was appointed to Commissioner General of Police when the post was created to replace that of Commissioner. His term was extended by four years.

Involvement in Zanu-PF

Declaration to Party

Chihuri was reported to have openly declared his allegiance to the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) in 2001 and continued to do so for much of his career as police commissioner afterward. This revelation was received with mixed speculations, especially coming from for a police commissioner. Chihuri was quoted to have threatened to sack all senior police officers who were accused of backing the opposition party MDC-T.[4]

Chihuri was reported to have indicated that members of the Z.R.P who did not support Zanu-PF should leave the force and that he himself would not serve under an M.D.C government.[5]

Factionalism

Regardless of publicly announcing his allegiance to Zanu- PF under Mugabe, Chihuri was accused as being a member of the Mujuru faction when the battle to succeed Mugabe intensified before the party's 6th Congress held in Harare in December 2014. It was reported that service chiefs were supporting Joice Mujuru who was accused of harbouring ambitions to oust Mugabe from being the country's president as well as the party's first secretary.[6] It was reported that on 18 November 2014, Chihuri tendered his resignation letter to Mugabe after Mugabe had earlier on expressed his displeasure with his work.[7]

Dismissal Bids

Reports circulated that the former president Mugabe had indicated that he was not keen to extend Chihuri's contract, something that he was accustomed to since Chihuri's appointment in 1993.[8] Trust Mugova was indicated as the suitable and preferred candidate to replace Chihuri. The issue to oust Chihuri eventually subsided. Chihuri was reportedly forced to announce that he was not aligned to the Mujuru faction and Charity Charamba issued a press statement dismissing allegations that the police force was behind Mujuru.[9]

On 13 January 2015, it was reported that some Zanu-PF members targeting security chiefs began to call for Chihuris' ouster again.[9] They claimed that he failed to repent, thus remaining closely associated with ousted Mujuru, necessitating his failure to arrest Mujuru as well as ordering investigations on corruption allegations levelled against Joice Mujuru. Chihuri vowed to take into consideration Mugabe's calls to bring to book those accused of being corrupt at Morris Depot during a pass out of police graduands.[10] Chihuri's stance was viewed as a move to exonerate himself from being aligned to the Mujuru faction.

Involvement in Corruption

In 2013 Chihuri was accused of fraud by other police officers. He allegedly integrated more than 15,000 unqualified civilian personnel and went ahead to give them force numbers. Some of them were said to have been promoted to the ranks of Sergeants and Assistant Inspectors, despite having not even sat for the mandatory promotional examinations.[11] These are said to have been untrained civilians and ZANU PF youth militia.

In June 2014, it was reported that Chihuri illegally forced Bazil Nyapokoto (a detective within the ZRP) to resign after he testified against the police force. The police force agreed to pay damages amounting to US$64 000 to Nyapokoto within two months.[12] Nyapokoto petitioned the president to intervene as the police force was reluctant to own up to its promise.[13]

On 6 November 2014, Justice Lavender Makoni of the High Court of Zimbabwe, ordered Chihuri and Kembo Mohadi to pay US$3 500 to Fatima Manhondo following her unwarranted attacks by the police force in October 2014.[14] Chihuri and Mohadi failed to appear in court.

In January 2015 Chihuri together with Mohadi were accused of failing to respect a court order from the High Court of Zimbabwe which mandated them to protect villagers at Arnold Farm in Mazowe District from being forcibly evicted from the farm to pave way for Grace Mugabe who was claimed to be the new owner of the farm.[15] This move was viewed as an attempt by Chihuri to prove that he was still loyal to Mugabe by supporting his wife to 'illegally' seize control of Arnold Farm.

Health Problems

Chihuri collapsed during the three-hour parade for new recruits in May 2014. It was reported that he collapsed while standing next to President Robert Mugabe and was immediately taken away on a stretcher to receive medical attention.[16] He returned to his seat 30 minutes after being attended to by Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr. Douglas Mombeshora and a team of paramedics. After returning to his seat Chihuri apologized to Mugabe and the nation for the mishap. He also commended Mugabe's fitness as they had gone through the same paces for three hours and Mugabe had not shown any signs of weariness.[17]

Retirement

On 18 December 2017, it was announced that Chihuri was sent for leave pending his retirement. This happened after Emmerson Mnangagwa had been inaugurated as the President of Zimbabwe. Chihuri was booed by members of the public after pledging his loyalty to the new President on the inauguration day. He had served the police force for 23 years. He was dismissed on the day the military announced the end of Operation Restore Legacy. Chihuri was succeeded by Godwin Matanga

Chihuri Ngaaende!!" Crowd Boos Police Commissioner Chihuri


Mantainence Lawsuit

In March 2018 a police officer Sithulisiwe Mthimkhulu took former Commissioner-General Chihuri to court for alleged non-payment of maintenance. The police officer reportedly had an affair with Chihuri to which they sired a daughter. Part of the court papers read:

Respondent Augustine Chihuri was the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police since 1981, while I was his subordinate. He has since retired but I am still in the force. Respondent and I have a child together born on 2 July 2009.

When it was time for us to go and get the child’s certificate, the respondent refused. I ended up doing it all on my own and that is why the child bears my surname and not his. Over the years and ever since I was pregnant, the respondent has been neglecting to take care of his daughter.[18]

Some Articles About Augustine Chihuri

Chihuri Ordered To Pay 250 Maintenance Tue Aug 7 2018

Chihuri Sued For Failing To Pay Water Bill Tue Jul 3 2018

Augustine Chihuri, Matshiya Face Contempt Of Parly Charges After Contradicting Evidence Tue Jun 12 2018

See more news on Augustine Chihuri

References

  1. Mugove TafirenyikaChihuri collapses at parade, DailyNews, Published: 30 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Moses Matenga, Chihuri collapses, 'Newsday', Published: 30 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  3. Daniel Nemukuyu, Chihuri graduates, Herald, Published: August 4, 2015, Retrieved: August 4, 2015
  4. 27 MDC officials arrested, Financial Gazette, Published:12 July 2001, Retrieved:8 June 2014
  5. Eddie Cross, A Letter to R.M., Eddie Cross personal blog, Published:28 December 2005, Retrieved:8 June 2014
  6. Elias Mlambo, Security chiefs face purging, Zimbabwe Independent, published:21 Nov 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  7. Tawanda Manjoni, Mugabe forces Chihuri to retire, The Zimbabwean, published:26 Nov 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  8. Nunurai Jena, Chihuri, Chiwenga contracts expire, Southern Eye, published:5 Dec 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Fungi Kwaramba, Zanu PF hawks target Chihuri, Daily News, published:12 Jan 2015,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  10. Feluna Nleya, Police boss Chihuri vows to swoop on Mujuru camp, Newsday, published:19 Dec 2014, retrieved:13 January 2015"
  11. Mxolisi Ncube, Top cops accuse Chihuri of fraud, 'The Zimbabwean', Published: 6 Mar 2013, Retrieved: 29 May 2014
  12. Richard Muponde, Chihuri threatened with arrest, Southern Eye, published:29 Jun 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  13. Moses Matenga, Cop reports Chihuri to Mugabe, Southern Eye, published:22 Jul 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  14. Charles Laiton, Mohadi, Chihuri ordered to pay, Southern Eye, published:6 Nov 2014,retrieved:13 January 2015"
  15. Blessing Zulu, Villagers want to minister and police chief arrested over Grace Mugabe evictions, Nehanda Radio, published:11 Jan 2015, retrieved:13 January 2015"
  16. Chihuri collapses at the pass out parade, 'Nehanda Radio', Published: 29 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  17. Chihuri apologises after fall, 'Herald', Published: 30 May 2014, Retrieved: 30 May 2014
  18. Police Officer Demands $270 000 Maintenance From Augustine Chihuri, Says He Is Not Providing For His Child, Pindula News, Published: 2 March 2018 , Retrieved: 2 March 2018