Mugabe aides facing forced retirement as police restructures

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President Mugabe is accompanied by Commisioner General Augustine Chihuri to inspect a passout parade at Morris Depot in Harare yesterday. Picture by John Manzongo

Bernard Mpofu

FORMER President Robert Mugabe’s security aides could soon be forced into retirement barely three months after being reassigned as police embarks on a restructuring exercise that will result in many posts being redundant, Business Times has established.

Mugabe resigned last November following pressure from the military and public outrage over his 37-year rule.

According to a proposed restructuring, the Zimbabwe Republic Police will abolish senior high ranking posts such as commissioners and senior commissioners. The reforms could be part of government’s efforts to reduce the public sector wage bill which is currently gobbling 90% of revenue.

Treasury wants public sector wage bill to account for 30% of revenue by 2030.

“The central Planning Committee recommended and the commissioner general of police approved that: the rank of commissioner be abolished and the current posts cease to exist upon retirement, discharge, promotion or death of the incumbent, reads the minutes of the restructuring committee.

“Police Protection Unit be headed by an Assistant Commissioner styled Assistant Commissioner {Police Protection Unit} reporting to chief staff officer [operations]. The Economic Surveillance Section be disbanded as it does not have a Central Planning Committee Minute.

According to a memo written by the police chief Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga in March, several officers including Mugabe’s aide de camp Martin Kwainona who was then Senior Assistant Commissioner within the PPU, was reassigned to the Economic Surveillance Unit.

The sweeping changes will also see former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s aide Olga Bungu, who had also been assigned to the Economic Intelligence Unit losing her job. Bungu was a Commisioner within the force.

“Posts for Chief of Staff [Printers], Quartermaster] and [Press and Public Relations] be abolished and the sections be headed by Assistant Commissioners styled Senior Staff Officer [Printers], [Quartermaster], and [Press and Public Relations],” respectively, the minutes read.

The National Traffic Branch according to the reforms will also be disbanded and the National Highway Traffic will now be headed by Chief Superintendent styled Officer Commanding [National Highway], reporting to Senior Staff Officer [Operations].