A POLICE officer based in Bulawayo has sued Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and the Police Service Commission for unlawfully dismissal.
BY SILAS NKALA
Khumbulani Fuyane filed an application for the review of proceedings that led to his dismissal, citing Mpofu, Matanga and the Commission as first to third respondents, respectively.
In his appeal, Fuyane said the Police Service Commission failed to supply reasons for its decision, despite being requested to do so and this constituted an irregularity.
“The decision of the second and third respondents (Matanga and Commission) is so manifestly unreasonable that no reasonable panel applying its mind to the facts would have arrived at such a decision. The decision of the second and third respondents does not reflect any fairness or justice as would be expressed in a democratic society,” he submitted.
“Applicant seeks the court to quash the decision by the second respondent upholding applicant’s conviction by third respondent and set aside the sentence and substitute its own decision.”
In his founding affidavit, Fuyane said on February 3, 2017, he was allocated a crime intelligence diary to investigate the facts of a matter where employees at Vendors Paradise were suspected of stealing from their employer. The suspect was Enock Mudenda.
“When I received the diary, there was no statement from the complainant outlining the complaint. Earlier on, the complainant, represented by Arnold Bote in the company of Detective Chiokoyo of Criminal Investigations Department in Gweru, had proceeded to Shurugwi, where they suspected that Mudenda was operating a shop using stolen items belonging to the complainant. They recovered all the items from the shop, but did not compile the list of the items, neither did they compile a statement of the recoveries,” Fuyane submitted.
He indicated the said property was never handed to him by the police officers, but he was later advised that Detective Assistant Inspector Matsa, who happened to have been briefed about the issue, advised him that the suspect had brought receipts of the recovered property, indicating that he had bought them from the complainant.
“I then contacted complainant who visited the station and I interviewed him in the company of DC [Detective Constable] Nkani and the receipts were shown to the complainant, who acknowledged them and comparison was done and the items recovered, tallied with receipts,” Fuyane submitted.
He said the complainant later proved that the accused had failed to account for some of the property he had collected from him and he resultantly charged him with failure to account or alternatively wrongfully accounting for the property before communicating this to his superiors.
Fuyane said he had also indicated that the received property could not be used as exhibits, a position he said was corroborated by Inspector Gwandu, who urged them to return the property to the accused person.
He said he was later surprised when charges of misconduct were laid against him and in April 2017 he was arraigned before a police disciplinary hearing made up of a single officer sitting at Gweru.
Fuyane denied the charge, but was convicted and subsequently sentenced to 10 days imprisonment with labour at Fair Bridge Detention Barracks.
Fuyane said he appealed against both sentence and conviction to the second respondent who is the Police Commissioner-General. He prayed that the sentence and conviction be reviewed and set aside. He said he was still suitable to remain in the service and must be reinstated.
Mpofu, Matanga and the commission are yet to respond to the application.