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Police outrider's death: Family wants answers

by Staff reporter
12 Apr 2021 at 07:26hrs | Views
YOUNGER brother to the late police outrider Sergeant Freddy Chipato, who died last week while on VIP traffic clearance duties for First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa's convoy, has expressed dismay over the absence of the First Lady's representatives at the funeral.

Chipato died when his bike rammed into a Toyota Altezza which had encroached into his lane between Lion's Den and Chinhoyi on April 2.

His younger brother, who declined to be named for fear of victimisation, said there were many grey areas in relation to his brother's death that needed to be clarified.

He said the family was irked by government's denial that Chipato was not part of Mnangagwa's motorcade.

"Whenever there is a death in a family, there is bound to be some things that people question. In this case, there are many questions than answers. For instance, why did the First Lady fail to send a representative at the burial, and why did government try to disassociate my brother's duties on the day from the First Lady's journey to Mhangura?" he queried.

Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana last week dissociated Chipato from the First Lady's convoy, but tweeted that the late traffic officer was clearing traffic ahead of the motorcade.

Mangwana yesterday said the First Lady's motorcade issue was of a security nature than a constitutional one.

"Issues of security are issues of safety rather than constitutional. They are not constitutional matters in the sense that the Constitution doesn't prescribe who gets what security arrangements," he said.

"In any country you go to, members of the First Family are protected, and the answer is yes."

Police also issued a statement denying that the First Lady's convoy was involved in an accident in Chinhoyi.

This is not the first time the First Lady's convoy has been involved in an accident. Last April, her convoy was involved in a fatal accident at Mavhuradona Mountain Range in Mashonaland Central province.

The incident killed one of her trusted top aides, Albert Vunganai, on the spot, while four other secret service operatives were seriously injured in the crash.

Government was accused of abandoning the injured aides, with some spending months in hospital, forcing family members to sell their belongings to pay medical bills.

In May last year, one of the cars in her convoy reportedly hit and injured a seven-year-old boy near Simunye Gardens in Kwekwe.

The number of accidents involving her motorcade have set tongues wagging amid questions as to why she is accorded such high-profile protection which is not stipulated in the Constitution.

Human Rights NGO Forum director and constitutional lawyer Musa Kika said the Constitution did not mention the First Lady's office since it is not a government office.

"The First Lady is not a constitutional office," Kika said.

He said first ladies were not mentioned in the Presidential Pension and Retirement Benefits Act Chapter 205, which only envisages that they receive pensions in the event that the husband dies.

"This is about former Presidents," he said.

Kika said Statutory Instrument 261 of 2020 also mentioned spouses of former presidents.

MDC Alliance deputy spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo also accused the First Lady of wasting State resources crisscrossing the country on personal and Zanu-PF business.

Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana rubbished the assertions that first ladies should not enjoy certain privileges because it was not mentioned in the Constitution.

"That exhibits narrow thinking. The Presidency is an institution, meaning that his family can enjoy certain benefits if the office sees it fit," Mangwana said.

Source - newsday

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