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ZIMBABWE Republic Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri said some Members of Parliament are of "crooked and small minds" for alleging that people who won prizes during the recent Commissioner-General's Funfair raffle draw have not been able to get their prizes from the force. He dismissed allegations that some vendors, touts and motorists had been forced by police officers to buy raffle tickets for the event that was held over the weekend.

"Our MPs, some of them crooked in their minds and thoughts, they were blaming us, making queer suggestions that when people win the raffle draw they are not given the prizes. It's a shame when you have people with the calibre I am talking about who don't see (the good things done by the police), yet they themselves help not. We are not deterred by such crooked minds and people of small thinking," Comm-Gen Chihuri said.

The police chief was speaking in an interview after handing over various prizes that included 10 vehicles to winners of the raffle conducted during the funfair on Saturday at the Morris Depot Grounds. He said some of the people, including legislators, are not able to see the good things done by the police in terms of assisting the orphaned and disadvantaged children from the proceeds obtained from the event.

"Each year, ever since we started, the event is growing. We have more people supporting and we have even opened up the southern region, which is Bulawayo. We also had a successful fair last month, just like what happened in Harare. Each and every time, soon after, people want some more. Some of them have been suggesting that we should have it every week; they would still be coming for the event.

"Surprising enough, there was no money. I was told that there was no money, somewhere somehow, but everybody was there with their money and they were happy. But jealous people are always around. You see some of them writing that touts were forced to buy tickets by police officers and they ridicule the good things that the police do. Comm-Gen Chihuri added: "I want to remind those ones of crooked minds that if you are not giving to help others, you always find fault with what other people do. I want to say to you that, honestly, the people that have been assisted by the programme have done so well in life, and not only for themselves, but for their own families also."

Comm-Gen Chihuri's sentiments come after reports that some informal traders have been claiming in some sections of the media that police officers were forcing them to buy raffle tickets for the funfair. Some vendors were claiming that police officers had been moving around vending stalls in the high-density suburbs and the city centre, forcing them to buy the raffle tickets at $2 each. Traffic officers manning roadblocks along the country's major highways were also reported to have been coercing motorists to buy raffle tickets at check points. The funfair, which is an annual event, is the brainchild of Comm-Gen Chihuri.

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Chihuri blasts 'crooked' MPs
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