They are allegedly being punished for various crimes, ranging from conspiracy to committing armed robbery, corruption and theft.

Sources that spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that the senior police officers who were also on full salary have over the years been assigned to farming tomatoes and other vegetables for market gardening as well as poultry.

“These officers work Monday to Friday doing menial work, of which this is not supposed to be the case,” said the source. “When these people were suspended under the Police Act, they were stripped of their powers.

“We are all wondering why this is happening to them. Three years of being a farm labourer when you are a professional is not easy.”

The sources said the officers, who are all professing their innocence had exhausted their channels of appeal after Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri turned them down.

Police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka, while not confirming that the three officers had been turned into labourers defended the punishment saying it was allowed under the Police Act.

“There is nothing unusual with our suspended members being subjected to fatigue duties if they are set to go before disciplinary trials or if they are waiting to appear before a board of officers,” Mandipaka said. “All this is provided in the Police Act.” 

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