Police Chief on war path; reads riot act on smuggling senior cops

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MUTARE: ZRP commissioner General Godwin Matanga has fingered senior police officers in the province as major culprits fuelling smuggling of bales of second hand clothes along the stretch between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, warning that the net is closing in on the criminals.

He made these remarks during his tour of Manicaland province for first time since his appointment following the sacking of Augustine Chihuri in January.

Chihuri was accused of corruption and abuse of office.

Addressing senior officers drawn from various districts of the province, Matanga said police officers who engage in corrupt activities must be exposed and dealt with according to the law.

“It is on record that smuggling is rife along the stretch between Zimbabwe and Mozambican border line which you police. For some time, I have been trying to figure out why this is so with all the collective effort from other stakeholders, why are we failing to make headway in ridding society of this menace.

“The explanation I am receiving is dumbfounding to say the least. It is beyond the realism of my imagination that amongst you there are some who have the nerves to engage in questionable acts to promote smuggling.

“I am told some of you are integral members of syndicates specializing in facilitating the smuggling of bales of second hand clothes through provision of escort vehicles and others acts as conduits for various contraband.

“Let me thus warn those that are engaging in such sordid acts that they are already determining their own fate. If they opt to remain aboard their corruption boat they should know that they are bracing for a bruise,” said Matanga.

He said police officers must give impetus to all the anti-corruption strategies being implemented by government and a lot more the organization shall device in future to deal with graft.

Matanga said no dirty should be swept under the carpet, adding “no top cop is above the law”.

“You have to move with haste to sweep all the bad apples and ensure that they have their day in court. The organization is much better without them,” said.

Smuggling of second hand clothes has been a threat to the viability of local clothing industry with industrialists calling on government to take strict measures to plug the vice.