Nick Maunze, who is a middle ranking officer in the CIO based at the Masvingo district office this week threatened veteran journalist Godfrey Mutimba, with serious unspecified action, after accusing him of peddling falsehoods in the weekly Standard newspaper, where he is a correspondent.
Maunze is said to have openly told Mutimba in his face that he had vast experience in administering torture after ‘fixing the hell out of Sikhala. He bragged that he was one of the security agents who tortured Sikhala, the former St Marys’ legislator when he was arrested by state agents a couple of years ago.
After his release from police custody years ago, Sikhala was later to narrate the inhuman torture that he underwent while in the hands of state agents including being hit on his private parts in a revelation that shocked the nation as it exposed the way of life behind President Mugabe’s secret torture chambers.
Maunze, who also runs a supermarket chain at Yeukai business centre in Masvingo told Mutimba: “You must be careful young man, very very careful because I will reduce you to nothing and fix you and I mean I will fix you. I do not care what your papers write about me, they are useless and will not change anything. What I need to tell you and your other reporters is that you should know that I have dealt with even bigger fish which had thick heads.”
”For your own information, I am the one who forced Sikhala(Job) to drink urine when he was arrested and it is not hard for me at all to deal with an even smaller fish and useless reporters like you, what will you do to me?,”charged Maunze.
Mutimba said: ” I only fear God and I believe that God has a plan for each one of us. I am only a simple journalist who survives by writing stories and I will not change my profession to satisfy the egoes of other people, never ever.’
Maunze’s track-record is littered with controversy, as he was suspended from work three years ago after his superior caught him red-handed grabbing a fellow workmate by the collar while the two were on night duty.
Prior to that he had also been cautioned after he was implicated in the murder of an MDC-T activist in Chivi.
A senior freelance journalist, Stanley Kwenda, recently fled to South Africa after he was threatened with death by a senior police officer, Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge, after he wrote a story about the mysterious death of his wife in a local paper
The story alleged that Makedenge’s late wife’s relatives had demanded a note that she allegedly left before committing suicide.
Makedenge has been associated over the years with the arrest of opposition politicians, journalists and human rights activists.
He allegedly masterminded the abduction of dozens of MDC and human rights activists who included a couple with its two year old child.
The abductees, who include prominent human rights campaigner Jestina Mukoko were seized from different places in Harare and surrounding towns on allegations of attempting to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government through banditry, sabotage and terrorism, a charge they deny.
Some of his victims are now nursing permanent injuries as a result of weeks of torture while in secret captivity.
On Tuesday Makedenge splashed advertisements in the local paper describing the loss of his wife as “very painful” in a development seen by critics as meant to camouflage his alleged involvement in the death of his wife.
Makedenge’s wife Antoinette allegedly committed suicide last year following endless disputes with the police chief.
“It has been a year since you answered God’s call. The loss and pain of stays in our hearts forever. How we wish you could be with us in our joyous and trying moments. Continue interceding for your lovely 2 daughters and grand daughter. God will grant us the strength and comfort we need to work through this very painful loss and betray the eyes of our detractors and continue with the plans which we had for the good of the family and the name,” read part of a message placed in the sate-run Herald newspaper by Makedenge inviting relatives and friends to a church service held in memory of his wife on Tuesday.