A FORMER junior police officer based in Bulawayo has lost his bid for reinstatement after his court challenge was dismissed for lack of merit.
The former cop, only identified as Constable Bande, who was fired from the Zimbabwe Republic Police on June 29 this year for misconduct, had sued Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo seeking reinstatement.
But, Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo dismissed his application last Thursday, saying it lacked merit.
In his application filed on October 7, Bande had claimed unfair dismissal, saying the police service erred by discharging him from the force, since he was a first offender and had served for 12 years without committing an offence.
I appealed against the discharge to the Police Service Commission in terms of section 51 of the Schedule to the Police Act,” he submitted.
“In terms of section 51 of the Schedule to the Police Act, once an appeal is made, the first respondent’s (Chihuri) decision to discharge a member is automatically suspended by the operation of law. The law clearly requires that the respondents should reinstate me into the police service, while my appeal is being disposed of. I have no doubt that the respondents’ refusal or non-committal to my reinstatement is unlawful.”
But, Chihuri submitted that Bande had no cause of action by failing to comply with the provisions of the Police Trials and Boards of Inquiry regulations, as he did not notify his officer commanding of his intention to appeal within 24 hours of becoming aware of the discharge.
“Instead, he informed second respondent first and only served his officer in charge with a copy thereof on July 5 2016 well after the mandated period,” Chihuri said. “It is humbly submitted that section 51 only gives applicant a right to appeal, but the appeal procedure is set is set out in section 15(1) of the afore-mentioned regulations. It is further submitted that the appeal procedure is mandatory, hence, strict compliance is required.”