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Zimbabwe: Top City of Harare Official Claims He Is Being Victimised for Exposing Corruption

Harare Metropolitan Police (HMP) Chief Security Officer (CSO) Collen Tongowona, who is key witness in 10 cases of corruption involving council officials, says he has become a target for victimisation by his superiors for exposing serious corruption scandals at the embattled local authority.

Tongowona largely blames acting Harare chamber secretary Warren Chiwawa.

He detailed the alleged abuses in a letter to Chiwawa and council's acting head of the Public Safety Department (PSD) Martin Chimombe, accusing them of preventing him from ascending to the position of PSD head.

The high-ranking council officer questions why Chiwawa has chosen to go against Statutory 135 of 2012 that guarantees three month rotation in cases where two or more individuals are equally qualified to act in a particular role by continuously appointing Chimombe.

Chimombe's appointment expired on 8 October 2021.

Tongowona argues Chiwawa is now punishing him for having exposed illegal land sale by council officials that has resulted in over 50 officials being arrested in the letter seen

"The Chief Traffic Officer is for some reason being favoured while I have become a victim for obvious reasons. I am being victimised for being the Chief Security Officer of the Harare Metropolitan Police at a time the section exposed massive corruption in the disposal of land throughout Harare leading to the arrest of more than 50 council officials including executives who occupied influential positions and I am signatory to all their internal investigation reports, also a state key witness for 10 officials with land scandal cases before the courts," Tongowona wrote.

"This is the reason why I am being victimised and side-lined for appointment to act in the position of Head PSD. In a clear case of trying to silence me or deal with me, the Chamber Secretary has sought to abate the cause of Chimombe by continuously appointing him to act in the position which position gives him authority and power to find ways and implement those to compromise, if not remove me altogether from the position of CSO. This is a goal that some of those who have been arrested have sought from the time they were arrested," he argued.

"Chimombe himself was investigated by the HMP and investigations were completed way back in April 2020, the report was submitted to the acting Chamber Secretary for disciplinary action but, for reasons best known to that office, no action has bee taken against him," he added.