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Lawyer hits prison officer with lawsuit over partisan conduct

by Stephen Jakes
18 Dec 2023 at 20:15hrs | Views
A LAWYER has approached the High Court seeking an order for the dismissal of a prison officer, who is vigorously involved in partisan politics, in contravention of constitutional provisions that bar civil servants from engaging in active partisan politics.

Harare lawyer Takudzwa Edward Mudzuri is also suing the Commissioner-General of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS), the Chairperson of the Prisons and Correctional Service Commission and Justice and Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon. Ziyambi Ziyambi, for enabling the brazen violation of the country's Constitution.

Mudzuri, represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyer, Innocent Gonese, recently filed an application at Harare High Court after prison authorities failed to respond to his letters requesting disciplinary action to be taken against a prison officer, Caroline Majongo.

Despite being a civil servant, Majongo was actively involved in mobilising votes for the ruling ZANU-PF party during harmonised elections held on 23 and 24 August.

So prominent was her role that that senior ZANU-PF political party provincial officials, such as Mashonaland East Secretary for Security Jeremiah Chiwetu and Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Makureya, both wrote to ZPCS officials requesting leave of absence for Majongo from 1 June 2023 up to the end of elections.

In their request, Chiwetu and Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Makureya said the prison officer needed leave from official ZPCS duties so that she could carry out "national duty" such as party voter mobilisation programmes for ZANU-PF political party.

Majongo also holds the position of provincial deputy secretary in the ruling political party's Women's League.

In his application, Mudzuri wants the High Court to declare that Majongo's active engagement in politics as a member and an office bearer of ZANU PF political party in Mashonaland East province while she is employed as a Prison Officer is a direct violation of the provisions of Section 208(3) of the Constitution.

Mudzuri also wants the High Court to declare that the Chairperson of the Prisons and Correctional Service Commission and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon. Ziyambi, failed to ensure Majongo's compliance with the requirements of the Constitution after releasing her to engage in partisan politics as a member and an office bearer of ZANU PF political party to be in direct violation of section 231(1)(d) of the Constitution as read together with section 208(3) of the Constitution.

The case is not isolated.

ZLHR has over the years intervened to stop the continued violation of the Constitution by civil servants and security agents, who are actively involved in partisan politics, particularly taking up posts within the ruling ZANU PF political party.

Recently, an intervention by ZLHR forced President Emmerson Mnangagwa, to rescind the appointment of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Philip Valerio Sibanda into the ruling ZANU PF political party's Politburo.

Source - Byo24News