Police Recruits Torture:Ex- cop drags Zimbabwe Police Chief Chihuri to court

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by TZN Correspondent

 

A former senior policeman who was hounded out of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) four years ago after he was caught with a memory stick containing incriminating pictures of police instructors torturing police recruits, has dragged Commissioner General of the Police, Augustine Chihuri, to court seeking re-instatement.

Police chief Augustine Chihuri

                                                 Police chief Augustine Chihuri

Former Assistant Inspector Willard Mutsago was dismissed from ZRP in November 2011 for allegedly engaging “in conduct likely to bring discredit to the police force”. After his dismissal, he immediately appealed to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and to Chihuri, resulting in him being “reinstated” on December 7, 2011. However, barely two months later, Mutsago had to tender his resignation from the force, citing what he claimed was wanton harassment that made it impossible for him to work. His offer to resign was sadistically turned down and the harassment continued unabated.

 

This resulted in him in withdrawing the appeal he had made against his dismissal and he left the force.

 

“I was discharged from the police force on the 21st of November 2011 after being sentenced for a politically aligned charge and allegations but due to love of my job I appealed to the Police Service Commission against discharge and was reinstated into the force on 07/12/11 pending appeal,” Mutsago wrote in a letter withdrawing his appeal against dismissal.

 

“Since then, I no longer feel comfortable at work and it is very difficult for me to adopt my old devoted style of work. I found that I can no longer serve and submitted my application for discharge form, which was returned ‘Not Approved’. The instruction of waiting for the outcome of appeal stands but the environment is no longer conducive for me. My frustrated mind is not at work because of future plans, stress and family pressure. I am now applying for the withdrawal of my appeal against discharge and be discharged for the reason mentioned… It is my wish that the organisation release me as a matter of urgency for I am now a useless object in the force. I am doing this to maintain my good behaviour and clear record of service which used to prevail before the above mentioned charge.”

 

However in 2014, Mutsago decided to challenge his dismissal in the High Court.

 

Because of the long time that it took for Mutsago to challenge his dismissal, High Court judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, turned down his request for permission to challenge the dismissal very late advising him that “for the application to succeed he has to proffer a reasonable explanation for the inordinate delay of three years and convince me that he has reasonable prospects of success on review.”

 

It is not clear if Mutsago, who appear intimidated by his former employers, will return to the court with the reasons why he was unable to challenge Chihuri. The case could open a can of worms on what dirty tactics the ZRP employs to silence members who are uncomfortable with some of the brutalities committed in the force.

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