CIO murder suspect now attached to embassy in Lusaka Last Updated ( Friday, 06 July 2007 )
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e premte, 6 korrik 2007
By Our Correspondent
HARARE, July 6, 2007 - Joseph Mwale, the elusive Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative, controversially embroiled in the gruesome murder back in 2000 of two opposition MDC activists, is now safely ensconced in the Zimbabwe mission in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
Sources in the CIO say Mwale was transferred to Lusaka last year and has become an official at the Zimbabwean embassy since then.
Mwale's posting in Lusaka effectively scuttles efforts to bring the much feared intelligence operative to book for the alleged gruesome murder of Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya. The two MDC activists died in a callous petrol-bomb attack at Murambinda Growth Point in Manicaland as they campaigned for their party ahead of the 2000 parliamentary elections, amid an orgy of state-sponsored violence targeting opposition candidates and their supporters.
"Joseph Mwale now lives in Zambia," said one senior operative at CIO headquarters in Harare. "But his transfer has nothing to do with running away from being prosecuted."
The agent said Mwale had nothing to fear as he was assured of immunity from any form of prosecution since he was performing official duties for the State when the MDC activists were killed.
"Talk to Mutasa," said the source. "He knows what's going on. But I do not think Mwale's transfer is linked to the Murambinda case."
Efforts to obtain comment from Didymus Mutasa, the State Security Minister were in vain. Mutasa, a hard-line Mugabe loyalist, recently said he was launching a massive campaign to smoke out journalists who write for foreign-based online publications such as The Zimbabwe Times. He has threatened to take unspecified action against journalists identified as being correspondents for online publications.
Efforts to bring Mwale to book through prosecution have proved futile over the years, amid reports that he enjoys massive political support from top ruling party politicians as well as government officials.
Meanwhile, Mwale's co-accused were arrested and brought to court. Zanu-PF activists Morris Kainos Zimunya, Webster Gwama, and Johnson Mudzamiri were arrested in 2004 and prosecuted.
They were released on $5 million bail each in September 2004 by High Court Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.
Efforts by former Manicaland prosecutor, Levison Chikafu, to bring Mwale to justice were frustrated.
On September 23, 2006, Chikafu wrote to the then police chief in Manicaland Province saying: "The accused faces a charge of murder which was committed in the year 2000. The docket was referred to your office with instructions that you arrest Joseph Mwale and bring him for initial remand."
The docket allegedly disappeared from the police station immediately.
Instead Chikafu was himself arrested on charges of corruption and soliciting bribes from suspects. His trial kicks off in Harare next week. Since Chikafu's unceremonious departure nothing further has been heard of the Mwale murder case. It now appears he quietly slipped across the border into neighbouring Zambia.
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