BY VENERANDA LANGA
A former top police officer says he deserves to be appointed among the new commissioners for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) because he was behind the arrest of notorious criminals Elias Chauke and Edmund Masendeke in the 1990s.
Brian Kashangura, a former head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Homicide Division in Mutare, told the interviewing panel that he was the
real deal when it came to criminal investigations in Zimbabwe.
“I think I am the best person in this country to deal with corruption because I am the one that apprehended the notorious Chauke and his accomplices, and when
I was head of CID and Homicide Division in Mutare, I tracked notorious robber Masendeke to Mozambique, where he was in hiding,” he said.
“You do not need to look anywhere else when it comes to busting corruption — everything is in me.”
Masendeke teamed up with Stephen Chidhumo between October 1994 and September 1997, where they caused a reign of terror across Zimbabwe committing robberies and
The two, alongside three others, escaped from Mutimurefu Remand Prison in November 1995. The gang forced prison guards into the cells before walking away.
Masendeke and Chidhumo then went on armed robbery sprees in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces where they also killed people.
On several occasions they evaded arrest after clashing with the police.
Chidhumo was later arrested in neighbouring Mozambique and was jailed at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, while Masendeke moved to Kwekwe, where he continued
with his criminal activities.
However, Chidhumo escaped from the maximum security prison in 1997 alongside former policeman Pedzisai Musariri, ex-soldier Chauke and Mariko Ngulube. Musariri
was shot dead by the police, Chauke was recaptured and Ngulube died from wounds suffered during the daring escape. Chidhumo went on to rejoin Masendeke.
The two were later arrested in Mozambique. Kashangura told the panel led by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, his deputy Tsitsi Gezi and Justice
minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, among others, that his track record as a detective made him a suitable commissioner.
He told the panel that he would introduce football tournaments to enhance accountability and prevent corruption.
Kashangura said the tournaments at grassroots level and at schools would raise awareness about corruption.
Former MDC official Gabriel Chaibva, who is, now a staunch Zanu PF member, said he deserved to be on the commission because he was a “man of integrity”.
“I believe I am a person of integrity in the sense that not once in the entirety of my life — even in the remotest of sins — have I been accused of financial
immorality or malpractices,” he said.
“At age 54, there have been no such accusations.
“I believe that if I am in Zacc those responsible for financial misdemeanours and stealing from the public and private sector will have a tough time as I am
well conversant with international financial standards and accounting.”
Former Harare West legislator Jessie Majome said there was no point in having Zacc if the commission was not independent.
The aspiring commissioners were drawn from different professions and they include former police officers, legal experts, educationists, accountants and
auditors, law enforcement agents and members of the clergy.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is empowered to appoint eight Zacc commissioners from a list of not fewer than 12 nominees submitted by Parliament’s standing
rules and orders committee after completing the public interviews.
The previous Zacc commissioners resigned in January after Mnangagwa indicated that he had lost confidence that they were capable of fighting graft.