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Fired traffic police officer challenges dismissal in court

by Staff reporter
21 Feb 2018 at 01:40hrs | Views
AN ex-junior female traffic cop who was fired after she was found in possession of $3 excess money at a roadblock in January has taken Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to court challenging her dismissal.

Ex-Constable Nyarai Chigaro, who was based in Victoria Falls and was discharged on January 9 this year, is seeking an order setting aside her dismissal.

She also wants an order directing the police boss to immediately reinstate her without loss of pay and benefits.

Chigaro, through her lawyers Mvhiringi and Associates, filed an application for review at the Bulawayo High Court citing Comm-Gen Matanga and the officer commanding police in Hwange district, Chief Superintendent Newton Mutomba as respondents.

Chief Supt Mutomba was cited in his capacity as the president of the suitability board of enquiry that recommended Chigaro's dismissal.

In her grounds of appeal, Chigaro said the respondents grossly erred by discharging her without taking into consideration the highly mitigatory factors in her favour.

She said she was a junior cop who lacked guidance from her superiors at the time of committing the offence. "I was working under the supervision of more senior members who did not give me sufficient guidance. My misconduct was a mistake and not a deliberate case of dishonesty and I am a first offender who deserved a second chance," said Chigaro.

She said her former bosses overlooked the fact that it was not clear how much money was found on her.

Chigaro, in her founding affidavit, said she was tried by a single officer in an improper manner in violation of the Police Act and fined $10.

"I filed my appeal against my conviction with the first respondent (Comm-Gen Matanga). However, I was surprised to be advised that my appeal had been dismissed," she said.

Chigaro argued that during her disciplinary hearing, the investigating officer and one of the witnesses was also one of the members of the board of enquiry which contravened section 50 (1) of the Police Act.

The fired cop said she was not served with the outcome of the enquiry, but was shocked when she received a discharge order.

Chigaro argued that the action is in violation of the Police Act.

"The manner in which the enquiry into my suitability to remain a member of the police service was conducted was irregular as it violated a statutory provision as well as the supreme law of the country. Failure to provide me with written reasons was a violation of my constitutional rights," she said.

On January 12 last year, Chigaro was deployed on traffic enforcement at the 430km peg along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls road.

At round 1.40PM, one Assistant Commissioner A Mangezi visited the site of the roadblock.

Upon arrival, he conducted a spot check and discovered that Chigaro was in possession of $3 excess money, which she failed to account for leading to her arrest.

Source - chronicle