Financial records at Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) were reportedly loaded into a Nissan UD truck on the instruction of then police bosses and destroyed by fire at Chikurubi Camp during Operation Restore Legacy in 2017, allegedly to cover up corrupt procurement and other illicit payments.
The destruction of the records, according to investigations, was not done in accordance with the law and was allegedly designed to destroy evidence that could be used in the present investigations into former Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and his relatives.
Affidavits by four police officers in the police procurement section stated how pages of files involving companies linked to relatives of top police officers, including Chihuri, were pulled out and burnt. The affidavits also narrates how some senior officers instructed juniors to replace the pages in question with alternative and probably fake documents in a bid to erase any incriminating evidence.
The companies in question were allegedly awarded tenders without following procedure and it is suspected they might have received money without providing goods and services.
Some of the documents which were doctored and burnt include records for Mastaw Investments where Chihuri was a manager and his wife Isobel was managing director. Chihuri’s brother-in-law Aitken Khan was operations manager for the same company.
Documents for Croxile Investments where Isobel was general manager were, according to the investigations, allegedly tampered with.
Other records for Adamah Enterprises and Nodpack Investments where Isobel was general manager were also reportedly destroyed.
Documents for Rewstand Enterprises owned by Mrs Abigail Billie Makono, wife of a top police officer Assistant Commissioner Makono and her sister Beaula Billie, were also allegedly tampered with.
Rewstand had the tender to supply tents and clothing material.
Adamah had the tender to supply cap drab, blue hats for female officers and clothing material while Mastaw and Croxile would supply tents.
Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi, is also on record as saying there was a reasonable basis to suspect Chihuri of instructing some senior officers to spearhead the destruction of records relating to his family companies as he was then still in charge.
Constable Ellison Mutivayo who was responsible for typing in the office of the then Staff Officer Ordinance said he was instructed to type out an order to destroy 20 sets of selected records which were immediately ferried in a lorry for destruction.
“All sections like receipt bay, bulk store, stores office, buying office, cardex office, loan office, dispatch carding, issues and discharges, took the books to his office. The Staff officer did the selection of files with the administrator and brought them to my office where I was ordered to type out a destruction order in respect of the selected books. The books were more than 20 in number.”
An assistant inspector then arrived driving a UD lorry; the policeman and others had to load the books detailed for destruction and the truck drove off to Support Unit in Chikurubi, said Cnst Mutivayo in his sworn affadavit.
Another officer, Cst John Shoko, said he was ordered to pluck out some pages from the goods received register which were also burnt.
Sergeant Tamirirashe Matutu, who worked at the buying office, said Supt Munemo visited their office and asked for files in respect of Rewstand, Adamah, Mastaw, Nodpack and Croxile which he took to his office.
“He came back and took used up goods received registers from the safe where they were kept. He also took another goods received register from receipt bay section to his office. After an hour, he came back with pages which had entries of receipts in respect of the above mentioned companies, folded and marked while others were detached.
He said that he had been instructed by a Senior Assistant Commissioner to remove the marked pages. “He gave us blank pages of the registers and instructed us to rewrite the entries excluding those for the above mentioned companies which were left blank. Those blank spaces were filled in with false information and later cancelled.
“Supt Munemo then took the registers and asked Cst Shoko to accompany him to Police Printers for rebinding. All this happened when the overall officer-in-charge Chief Inspector Gavaza was on occasional leave,” said Sgt Matutu.
Assistant Inspector Nelson Phiri said at one point, the goods received register at the buying office went missing, only to find it a week later in the company of Cst Shoko who was busy plucking out pages and rewriting the information on the superiors’ instructions.
“On Wednesday 22 November 2017, I entered the Buying Office while searching for the missing book.
“I then found Cst Shoko with the goods received register on his table. I observed that he had a bunch of blank papers of the goods received register. He was busy re-writing the entries and other information.
“When I asked him why he had taken my book, he made a statement that he had been instructed by the Staff Officer Supt Munemo to rewrite new pages and removing all entries with information of deliveries of companies namely; Adamah, Croxile, Rewstand, Mastaw and Nodpack,” reads Asst Insp Phiri’s affidavit.
A week later, Asst Insp Phiri said he discovered that pages related to the five companies had been removed and replaced with newly doctored ones.
“I noted that pages which had entries and information of the aforementioned companies had been plucked out and replaced by newly re-written pages. The books had been bound anew to appear as if everything was still intact,” reads Asst Insp Phiri’s statement.
The re-written entries, according to the police officers, now had forged signatures, force numbers and names of officers who once worked in the receipt bay office.