A top prison officer who was fired in 2015 after allegedly calling then First Lady Grace Mugabe a dog, has lost an appeal against his dismissal at the High Court.
Before the dismissal, Ruben Zimondi was a superintendent with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) and officer-in-charge of Mutare Remand Prison.
According to court papers, on 5 December 2014, Zimondi was watching television at Mutare Prison Farm in the company of other officers.
A TV programme was beaming the Speaker of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda addressing delegates at a Zanu PF congress on an alleged plot to assassinate then president, Robert Mugabe.
On that day, Zimondi is reported to have shouted that Grace Mugabe was a dog who was behind the problems and factional fights in Zanu PF.
“Ma problems ese arikuitika mumusangano anokonzereswa nembwa inonzi Dr Grace Mugabe asi isu musangano tinouda,” Zimondi is reported to have said before colleagues reported him to his superiors, leading to his dismissal after a disciplinary hearing.
Last month, he appealed against his dismissal at the High Court and the matter was heard before Justice Isaac Muzenda.
In his application, Zimondi cited President Emmerson Mnangagwa, justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Commissioner General of Prisons and Correctional Service, Paradzai Zimondi and the secretary for the Public Service Commission, Vincent Hungwe as respondents.
Justice Muzenda dismissed Zimondi’s appeal, ruling that he had improperly cited the PSC secretary as the first respondent instead of citing the PSC.
“The applicant improperly cited the Secretary as the first respondent instead of citing the Public Service Commission,” the judge said.
“That was a fundamental error and the preliminary point finds favour with this court and accordingly the point in limine is upheld and the application is dismissed with costs.
It could not be established whether Ruben Zimondi is related to ZPCS boss, Paradzai Zimondi.