By Mary Taruvinga
TWO former senior police officers have approached the High Court seeking to be reinstated into the force after they were acquitted of stealing US$4 000 from Kuyedza Women Club, a project run by wives of police officers.
Former Assistant Commissioner Fortunate Chirara and former Inspector John Madhuku have since dragged Police Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga, the Police Service Commission and Senior Assistant Commissioner Godfrey Munyonga to the High Court seeking an order declaring their ‘forced’ resignations invalid.
The three were cited as first, second and third respondents respectively.
In their court application, the two argue that they were forced to resign by Munyonga who allegedly misled them before guiding them through the retirement process only to lay charges against them.
They were initially convicted by Harare magistrate, Josephine Sande in 2017, but were acquitted after appealing their conviction and sentence at the High Court.
“The third defendant (Munyonga) unlawfully forced the plaintiffs to resign against their will and he threatened them with arrests and discharge from the police service over allegations that the plaintiffs had swindled funds for the Kuyedza Women Club,” the court application reads.
“Out of fear and excessive intimidation the plaintiffs tendered resignations to the third defendant who personally supervised the process and directed the plaintiffs on how to resign.
“When the plaintiffs resigned, the third defendant then caused their arrest and caused them to be maliciously prosecuted at Harare Magistrates’ Court before the plaintiffs were acquitted on appeal at the High Court.”
The two prayed the ‘forced resignations’ should be declared unlawful and wrongful and accordingly, be set aside. They also want to be reinstated without loss of salary and benefits.
The two were initially sentenced to 24 months imprisonment after they were found guilty of swindling $US4 000 from the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s Kuyedza Women’s Club.
The State alleged they hatched a plan to steal from the club where they would convert various amounts of money to their own use each time they authorised the purchase of goods. As a result of their actions, the club lost $US4 000 and nothing was recovered.
However, the High Court found them not guilty after they appealed.
The ZRP Kuyedza Women’s Club was established by the wives of serving police officers to help empower them with self-sustaining projects and empowerment.