Confusion as senior police officer is removed from EU sanctions list

Posted on February 20, 2010 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport

http://www.swradioafrica.com

There is confusion surrounding the removal of a serving senior police
officer from the EU sanctions list, who three years ago allegedly led a
brutal assault on the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Highfields,
Harare.

This confusion arises after Assistant Commissioner Thomsen Todd Jangara, who
until Tuesday appeared 57th on the EU list, was removed when officials in
Brussels ‘believed’ he was dead. Jangara is alive and well but his name
bears a striking resemblance to that of Senior Assistant Commissioner
Winston Changara, the former Aide-de-Camp to Robert Mugabe who died in March
2006.

Changara was Mugabe’s most trusted aide who joined the police force in 1980
after taking part in the liberation war of the 1970′s. In 1982 he was
transferred to the Police Protection Unit, which is responsible for VIP
protection. He spent the next 24 years as Mugabe’s most trusted and leading
bodyguard. When he died in 2006 he was declared a national hero and is
buried at the Heroes Acre.
As Chief Superintended in charge of Harare district in 2007, Assistant
Commissioner Jangara led the crackdown on MDC supporters who had gathered in
Highfields for a prayer meeting on March 11, 2007. Tsvangirai and a number
of his senior aides were arrested and brutally assaulted whilst in police
custody. Jangara was promoted from Chief Superintendent to Assistant
Commissioner after he led this brutal crackdown that left one MDC activist
dead from gunshot wounds.
The images of Tsvangirai with a swollen face, when the police brought him to
court, caused an international outcry that led SADC to intervene and force
Mugabe to a roundtable with the MDC.

Jangara told the City Press of South Africa on Thursday that the confusion
began when the Financial Gazette published in January this year that he was
dead.

‘They mistook me for Winston Changara (Mugabe’s bodyguard).  The Gazette
however wrote that Tomsen Jangara had died, so the EU people took it from
there and included me among other dead people that have been removed from
sanctions,’ Jangara said.

The EU list of the names of people removed from the targeted sanctions
contains names of ZANU PF officials who died in the last year. These are
Vice-President Joseph Msika, politburo member and former cabinet minister
Richard Hove and the former Defences Forces commander, General Vitalis
Zvinavashe.

Human Rights lawyer, Gabriel Shumba told us he will write to the EU
secretariat of the Council of Ministers, pointing out the error.

‘I don’t think there is a problem really. If it is seen as a genuine error,
they will simply put him back on the sanctions list. This also vindicates
the notion that the MDC supplies the EU with the list of individuals to be
added on the list. I don’t think the MDC can do such a thing. There are EU
officials in Harare who obviously trawl through the internet looking for
people who violate human rights,’ Shumba said.

Diplomats in Brussels said there was significant pressure from the office of
the Prime Minister to remove the targeted sanctions. But civil society
organizations from Zimbabwe visited Brussels in the last two weeks and
campaigned vigorously for the measures to remain.

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