HARARE - Police officers, who were detained and assaulted for challenging the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) retraining programme, claim the police force is now being run like a social club.
The 11 cops said this in an urgent High Court application, which they have filed, seeking to bar their seniors from convening a board of suitability.
The officers, through their lawyer Norman Mugiya, claim that “the board of suitability” is aimed at discharging them from the force.
“We are clearly being punished for seeking justice against the respondents through this court. It defies logic that the very respondents had taken us to an unlawful training claiming that we were not candidates for discharge but all of a sudden we become good candidates to be discharged soon after we won our case against unlawful detention.
“This is sad indeed and speaks very badly of the once vibrant ZRP, which is now being managed like a social club,” the police officers said.
The group had been battling with the police force after being convicted for contravening the Police Act and detained at Morris Depot and Ntabazinduna Training Depot last year.
Following their detention, High Court judge Francis Bere ordered their immediate release.
“We challenged the process as it was draconian and unconstitutional and we won the case before this court.
“This court ordered our immediate release from the unlawful and unconstitutional detention which the respondents had vigorously but hopelessly opposed.
“The Constitution mandates the ZRP to enforce the law but this behaviour speaks bad of the abuse of that mandate by people with no respect of the rule of law and abuse of the rule of law,” the group said.
The police officers further told the court that their seniors promised to deal with them effectively and vowed not to rest until they were discharged from the ZRP for embarrassing the force, following Bere’s judgment.
“To further demonstrate that the respondents are being vindictive, all the applicants and other members who were on the unlawful training programme have been summoned to appear here in Harare before board presidents, with strict instructions to recommend our discharge so that we get punished.
“This process is just a formality, our fate is decided.
“It is on record in the matter that was handled by Justice Bere that senior assistant commissioner Grace Ndebele, who abused us during the unlawful training programme told us that, ‘he who fights for liberation will not enjoy it’ and I am sure that she is now fulfilling that promise. We are being sacrificed here. This is very bad, especially in our constitutional democracy,” they said.