Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s leadership of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is set to come under scrutiny after four officers sought the intervention of the High Court to stop the force from “illegally” deducting money from their salaries.
BY CHARLES LAITON
The four want the court to rule the deductions that they claimed were as high as $91 per officer declared illegal because they suspect that their bosses are pocketing the money.
They accused the Public Service Commission and Chihuri of facilitating the suspicious deductions, which they say erode their meagre income.
In the summons issued under case number HC3224/15, the quartet is also seeking an order compelling ZRP to reimburse them all the money deducted from their salaries from December last year to July this year.
The officers said they represented many others who had expressed unhappiness over the deductions.
The four are Constables Mutimusakwa, Makamba, Nziradzemhuka, and Sergeant Wachekwa, all stationed at ZRP Zvishavane.
According to the court papers, the officers are being victimised for resisting the deductions.
“The plaintiff noted that there were some deductions on their payslips called ZRP Association Loans which association they do not know anything about and which they were never advised of and the deductions were at the rate of $91 per month towards the said scheme,” the officers said through their lawyer Norman Mugiya.
The officers said the deductions were effected for a period of about six months and when they sought clarification they were told the force would award them a $500 loan each which they had never applied for.
“Sometime around October 2015, the 1st defendant (Officer-in-Charge Zvishavane) told the plaintiffs that the Police General Headquarters had sent $390 through the Ecocash to the plaintiff’s phones and he told them that the $390 covers the deducted amount which far exceeds that amount by simple arithmetic,” they said.
However, the officers said they never received the money but in November they were surprised to be advised they had each been transferred to different stations and were never assisted with relocation as should be the case in normal transfers.
“The 1st defendant told them that the plaintiffs were a bad people amongst the good ones and that they should be punished for failure to accept the illegal deductions which were done by their bosses who must not be questioned on their administrative decisions.” they said.
In a separate case, some police officers claim that they were being forced to buy raffle tickets and to contribute affiliation membership fees to a club called “Kuyedza Club”, which is headed by Chihuri’s wife. The organisation was forward to cater for the welfare of police officers’ wives.
“One thing that is clear is that membership to this club is voluntary and not mandatory to every wife of a police officer,” said one of the sources.
“If it is a voluntary club for wives of police officers, why is it that every police officer, male or female, married or not, is forced to pay the affiliation fee to this club?
“How constitutional and lawful is it that even husbands of non-members to this club are forced to pay an affiliation fee to this club?” asked a member of the force who requested anonymity.
“The affiliation fee is said to be $30 per year; forced from every police officer in any part of the country, whether male or female, married or single and whether ones’ wife is a member to this club or not.”
However, police spokesperson Senior Assistant P Commissioner, Charity Charamba dismissed the allegation as unfounded saying those were complaining were rouge elements.
“We are not selling raffle tickets at the moment. We had tickets for the funfair and no one was forced to buy raffle tickets. People won vehicles in the funfair,” she said.
“On Kuyedza (the club led by Chihuri’s wife), no one is forced to pay. That is a pure lie.
“Kuyedza has always been there and it is meant for the wives of police officers.
“The problem that we have is that we have undisciplined police officers these days and they are the ones involved in corruption.
“Why would they rush to the press and lie? I think they need retraining.
They are misguided elements and by coming to the press they are breaching the Police Act, a sign that they are not disciplined.”