HARARE – Oliver Chibage, a police commissioner who is also police commissioner-general, Augustine Chihuri’s right hand man, has reportedly been forced to resign from the police amid investigations into alleged corruption.
Charity Charamba, the police spokesperson, yesterday claimed Chibage was on leave pending resignation.
“He tendered his Form 71, he is on leave pending resignation,” Charamba said.
Contacted for comment by the Daily News yesterday, Chibage said it was all lies that he was resigning.
“Munhu wa commissioner angaita zvinhu zvakadaro? Ini ndiri busy kuno kugadzira nezve Miss Universities.
(Do you think I would do that? I am busy organising the Miss Universities contest.) Pressured if he was on leave pending resignation, Chibage said: “I don’t know about that, it’s all lies.”
All this was despite Charamba’s confirmation that Chibage had indeed tendered his resignation.
However, the Daily News sources said the top cop was forced out of the organisation for yet undisclosed dealings which infuriated Chihuri.
Chibage was one of the few security details seconded by government to sit on the board of Anjin — one of the mining firms exploiting the country’s diamonds in Chiadzwa.
In the wake of Chibage’s forced resignation, top police officers are said to be investigating a litany of corrupt deals involving senior officers using Chihuri’s name to fleece people and companies of their money.
One of the cases said to be under probe is one involving large quantities of cement purchased at concessionary rates in Chihuri’s name but it turned out that the cement was being abused by one the commissioner general’s subordinates.
Chihuri was said to be unaware of the dealings behind his back.
The racket was reportedly busted by Chihuri himself when one of the truckload of cement was “mistakenly” delivered at the police boss’ house – only to emerge that the “contraband” infact belonged to a lower ranked commissioner.
“The truckload went to the commissioner’s home and it was his name which was on the invoice but the people at the commissioner-general’s house raised the boss inquiring if he had ordered any cement.
“This is when the case exploded because Chihuri reportedly expressed ignorance on the origins of the cement and immediately became curious to investigate because he suspected there was a scam brewing,” said a senior police source.
The source added: “Chihuri himself rushed to the scene to make sure that those behind the cement deal were exposed. He did not want his name tarnished. The police commissioner general is furious that his subordinates are abusing his name to conduct corrupt activities.
“The other case involves a stolen car which somehow ended up in the hands of a police commissioner. Chihuri also got wind of it and has directed his deputies to investigate. The other case involves a company which supplied sub standard uniforms to the polic which a senior police officer reportedly influenced to have it awarded the tender. There are other cases involved which will come out in the open soon.”
“Huge amounts of money exchanged hands and Chihuri was unaware of these dirty deals being conducted behind his back. The man (Chihuri) is furious and will chop heads,” said the highly placed source.
The Daily News had not established at the time of going to press if Chibage was involved in any of these deals which Chihuri has reportedly vowed to put an end.
Chibage has other business interests, operating a safari lodge, Ochi City, named after him.
He is also the behind Miss Universities, a beauty contest for university students.
Chibage is a controversial figure and in recent years emerged as one of the most powerful figures in the police force because of his close proximity to Chihuri.
Even deputy commissioners, who are supposed to be his bosses, are reportedly scared of him.