After six weeks serializing the leaked 2001 list of CIO agents working in and outside Zimbabwe, SW Radio Africa will begin publishing a supplementary list of agents who, for various reasons, might not have been on the previous document.
Andrew Muzonzini reported to be a Director (Internal) in the CIO hit the headlines in 2008. Filippo Marucchi-Chierro, a farmer originally from Italy and owner of a farm in Trelawney, recounted how Muzonzini, “describing himself as the Political Commissar of the CIO” drove onto his property on the 12th September 2008.
Andrew, a younger brother to ex-CIO Director-General retired Brigadier Elisha Muzonzini, demanded that Marucchi-Chierro leave the farm even though it had not been listed for acquisition. It was during an argument over this illegal eviction that he produced an AK-47 rifle, pointed it at the farmer and shouted: "The only thing you guys (white farmers) will understand is if we use this."
Also on the list is Innocent Chibaya. In January 2005 it was reported that Chibaya, then chief of the CIO in Matabeleland, was transferred to Mutare by the now late Vice President Joseph Msika. Chibaya and the head of police in Bulawayo, Charles Mufandaidze, were accused of torturing ZANU PF youths who were arrested for supporting a ZANU PF faction opposed to notorious war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda.
Four of the ZANU PF youths are reported to have approached Msika at his home and narrated their torture ordeal at the hands of Chibaya and his fellow CIO agents. Mandlenkosi Sibanda, Tisunge Botomani, Nkosinathi Gama and Mandlenkosi Luphahla, all removed their clothes to reveal serious injuries to their private parts and bruises all over their bodies.
Even in Manicaland where he is now the head of the CIO, Chibaya is a notorious operative. In May 2007 it was reported that Chibaya and Denford Masiya, a senior intelligence agent in Rusape, were meant to stand trial on charges of intimidating witnesses into withdrawing violence charges against supporters of the then State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa. The case was later swept under the carpet.
Another agent in Chipinge, Joseph Chiminya, led a gang which stormed Ashanti Farm in 2005. Chiminya and five others savagely attacked farm manager Allen Warner with hoses and steel pipes. Chiminya wielded an Uzi light machine gun and pointed it at Warner, but when he tried to fire, the gun jammed. Warner subsequently attempted to escape on a motorbike but was caught and beaten up.
On our list this week are also the four CIO agents who took part in the abduction of former ZBC TV presenter and human rights activist Jestina Mukoko. In December 2009 Marasike Chitate (alias Chigure), Ndambakuwa, Maganga and Mhlanga were part of a 7 member gang that abducted Mukoko from her Norton home around 5am. They pushed her into the back of a truck and sped off.
Mukoko said they took her to an interrogation room: "First, I was assaulted underneath my feet with a rubber-like object which was at least one metre long. Later, I was informed to raise my feet on to a table, and the other people in the room started to assault me underneath my feet. This assault lasted for at least five to six minutes. They took a break and then continued again with the beatings."
No weeks one knew where Mukoko was being held. It was only after 21 days that she was able briefly, in the presence of police, to see her family. Without warning she was brought to court on Christmas Eve, alongside other detainees who had been abducted and held for over 76 days. The detainees included a 72-year-old man and a two-year-old boy, all facing dubious terrorism and banditry charges.
Another state security agent in Chimanimani is Brighton Mashopeka Muchuwa. On Christmas Eve in 2007 he beat to death a Christmas reveler, after accusing him of showing off with ‘MDC money.’ Muchuwa, a sidekick of wanted murderer and fellow CIO agent Joseph Mwale, assaulted Charles Sigauke and his father at their home on Christmas Eve.
Sigauke worked in South Africa and had come back to spend the holidays with his dad. He died the day after the beating, on Christmas day. Muchuwa accused Sigauke of being an MDC-T member and spending money given to him by the MDC-T. Witnesses say at one point Muchuwa lifted Sigauke and slammed him onto the bonnet of a nearby vehicle.
Both Sigauke and his father were hospitalized in Chimanimani before the son succumbed to his injuries. Post-mortem results confirmed he died from internal bleeding. Some reports say Muchuwa was arrested, detained by police, but then released. At the time SW Radio Africa reported how the police were reluctant to pursue the matter any further, given he was from the CIO.
In January 2008 we also reported on how Daniel Romeo Mutsunguma, a CIO agent who was based at the Zimbabwean embassy in the United States, shot and killed female MDC activist Tabitha Marume in Rusape. The MDC-T named Mutsunguma as the man who pulled the trigger and shot the woman in the stomach. She died on her way to Mutare General Hospital.
Marume was part of a group of seven MDC-T activists who walked to a torture camp at Manonga School, demanding the release of their colleagues who had been abducted by soldiers. Pishai Mucharauya, who then was the newly elected MDC-T MP for Makoni South, said their investigations had revealed that Mutsunguma’s wife also worked at the Zimbabwe embassy in Washington as a receptionist.
Next Thursday we focus on more agents on our supplementary list, including the most notorious, Joseph Mwale.