'Police probing Headlands arson'

HARARE - Deputy police commissioner general Innocent Matibiri yesterday said they were investigating the death of a 12-year-old boy who passed on in Headlands on Saturday night, saying it was too early to ascertain if it was politically-motivated.

Appearing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence and Home Affairs, Matibiri, flanked with senior assistant commissioners Faustino Mazango and Lee Muchemwa,  said the police had no evidence that Christpower Simbarashe Maisiri’s death was a result of political violence.

“There is no dispute that a child died in Headlands and the police attended the scene of death.

‘‘We are still gathering evidence on what happened and it is not correct that it is a result of political arson. We don’t need to rush to make such statements as we are still investigating the matter.

“We work on evidence and if honourable members can avoid perceptions and tell us how the arson happens for we are keen to know; we can arrest perpetrators of the offence, rather than speculate without any substance.” Matibiri said.

Musikavanhu MDC MP Prosper Mutseyami, narrated the Headlands incidence saying that it was an arson attack carried out in the dead of night by “Zanu PF supporters.”

Matibiri said many of the cases were being reported as political violence cases while they were not.

“We have received very isolated cases in the country and it is not anything to worry about and we have made arrests in most cases, it has been sensationalised. Why should someone rush to the media and make reports without informing the police?” Matibiri asked.

He said the police had adequately prepared for the holding of the referendum and general elections and had submitted their financial budget to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for consideration.

“We have a force of 40 000 trained members whom we want to finance and equip during the elections, we shall add another 10 000 members from our 50 000 members of special constabulary unit to have enough manpower for the elections,” said Matibiri.

He said he was acting on the advice of the Principals to hold violence-free elections.

Matibiri said police were unrelenting in the ongoing crackdown on non-governmental organisation who he said were giving radios to people residing in the rural areas. He claimed the NGOs had a hidden agenda.

“It is clear that these organisations are working with Western world to cause chaos in the country and undermine our work by trying to destabilise our country,” Matibiri said.

“We are not going to lie low and allow them to do that. We question their motive and timing in doing what they are doing now and as police we are watching them closely,” he added.

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